Wind and landing

Hi everyone. I know it’s crucial to account for the wind when landing but how do you judge the correction? And what exactly qualifies as a crosswind landing? I’ve looked at the tutorial on crosswind landing but I need a little more specific info on how to approach landing in different wind conditions. Usually I look at the METAR and I’m like cool I know the wind and where it’s coming from but then I just end up vibing all the way to touchdown. I don’t particularly care much for the wind because I don’t know how to use that information in practice. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much. I’m sure there’s a more assured APPROACH to this, no pun intended ;).
Thanks in advance. P.S: Don’t even think about sending me the crosswind landing tutorial video lol. Been there many times haha

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Well when i have a crosswind, i always point the nose into the wind. When im about 200 feet above ground i use the ailrones and center my plane a bit then use the rudder. That way i always land on centerline

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A true “crosswind” landing would be when the angle between your heading and the wind direction is more than 45°.

Let me illustrate with an example:

Suppose you’re coming in to land on runway 09. That means, your heading on final should be 090° approximately, aka due east.

Now, if the wind is coming from between 045° (aka 90 - 45 = 45) and 135° (aka 90 + 45 = 135), it qualifies as a headwind. If it’s closer to those extremes, we’d call it a right or left quartering headwind depending on the direction it’s coming from.

If the wind’s coming from beyond those limits, it counts as a crosswind. Until, of course, it reaches behind you, and then starts to count as a tailwind.

Judging crosswind correction is something that can be done by seeing how far left or right the runway “picture” drifts on final, if you don’t apply any corrections. Think of it as “letting go” of the aircraft and seeing where the wind pushes you. Higher the wind speed, more the rudder correction required.

With airliners, I usually use the rudder to point the nose of the aircraft into the direction of the wind and use a gentle opposite aileron to balance everything out. If the wind is high, I sometimes don’t even use the opposite aileron. As I flare/round out, I gradually reduce the pressure on the rudder until the wheels touch down.

Hope this helped!


Wow this is amazing. Thank you. Nicely explained.
And how do you adjust for the ‘quartering headwind?’ Do you use the rudder still or you continuously use ailerons to maintain centreline?

The usual airliner process is to use aileron to head the nose into the wind… ie keep tracking directly to the runway, although the airplane is going ‘a bit sideways’… Then just at the flare point to use the rudder to bring the nose straight.

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In an airliner, the usual process from what I’ve heard, unless the winds are very gusty, you generally use rudder, so you run lesser risk of side-loading the aircraft.

With a quartering headwind it’s no different - just a lighter touch!

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Ah that makes sense. I’m usually scared of using the rudder because the plane always kicks back in the opposite direction when I release it and I end up far from centreline lol. And sometimes it touches down on 1 side first. Thank you for your explanation

The trick is to not let go of it all of a sudden. Imagine it like a continuous motion to your pitch when you flare. You don’t suddenly yank the yoke back, right? The same with the rudder. You ease the rudder back to neutral as you flare.

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You’re awesome!!!

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