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[Crosswind] Landing Techniques
I have learned the best way to perform any landing no matter where the wind is coming from is do two simple things. These two items are done on any landing with a wind or without a wind. The airplane requires the longitudinal axis of the airplane be perpendicular to the runway and at the same time not drifting from one side to the other. This is easily accomplished by remembering (1) use rudder to keep the airplane going straight down the runway and (2) use aileron to stop any drift from side to side. In fact this is the same thing that is done without wind except the airplane naturally wants to do that without wind. The pilot is required to provide the input on a crosswind. This has an additional benefit, the pilot can easily tell where the crosswind is coming from. If you are providing right rudder and left aileron, the wind is coming from the left.
crosswind landings
excellent information, and do not forget that the wind does not cease at touchdown. If it is a particularly nasty crosswind, you must continue wind corrections, i.e. aileron and elevator adjustments as required and slow taxi speeds all the way to the chocks if necessary! happy landings!
mikeywhite's picture
X-wind landings
Shouldn't "perpendicular" be "parallel"? Mike


Hey Mikey- you are obviously correct and correct to correct unless he meant "lattitudinal" axis. That would be perpendicular. But as stated- "parellel" does go with Longitudinal axis. Moreover- I like the advice to "fly" or "control" all the way to the chocks. As a 3rd class student- at the ripe age of 73- I find those cross wind landings difficult only because of their suddenness. Right ruddering on a "from-the-left" crosswind is kind of natural as the nose turns left into the wind and just like a left-misdirected car- you correct to the right. It is less natural and logical to aileron left as in the car you would turn the wheel to the right. I know you have to keep the nose into the wind and the left wing down. The hard part for me is doing both instantly when one is almost down when the wind hits unexpectedly. I am still responding "sequentially" instead of "simultaneously". With experience I hope to get better. I am assuming that all experienced pilots respond simultaneously. Is that so? Thanks for your response guys. Mannyfi
X-Wind Landings
Parallel...Perpendicular...Whatever. I've got over 4500 hours as an AF primary IP. The most important thing to remember about X-wind landings is to put the corrections in early and leave them in during the landing roll/touch & go. Most students tend to relax the controls and quit flying the plane after touch down. The "cool" guys who wait until the round out or flare to add X-wind controls tend to either over correct or under correct and place side loads on the landing gear which is "not good" for most planes. Keep in mind that when you cross-control the airplane you're also adding drag so you will most likely need more power on final to keep the plane from dropping like a rock and "pranging on". I also tell my students "Any landing you walk away from and didn't break the jet (or prop) is a good one". Cheers,
USAF AA's picture
Crosswind Landings
Shoot for the centerline of the runway. You will see drift instantly and can make corrections to stay on centerline. Airplanes are not made for side loads on touchdown so for a really smooth landing drift has to be totally killed. Work it using what ever it takes.
h escalona
h escalona's picture
While getting my 3,723hrs in Army flying in four continents I learned that the wind always owns you. It doesn't matter if its supposed to be a zero wind day or a light wind day because wind has its own mind. It also didn't matter if it was Africa or California, a low weight aircraft or a heavy one, day time or night time, because what you are feeling and seeing can change at any time from starting the approach to shutdown. I can never delete the fact that I've done an terriffic ILS started over the Pacific, broke out comfortably above decision height, and while taxing to park the annoyed wind tried to flip us. Yes you can tell where the wind is coming from, but never forget that nature rules the enviroment.

HE 21 Blackhawk years 35 Playing guitar years

[quote]Parallel...Perpendicular...Whatever. I've got over 4500 hours as an AF primary IP.[/quote] "Whatever"??!! They let you fly??? The technique is called crossed-controls. e.g. the rudder goes left, and aileron goes right to hold the wings level, or even roll slightly towards the wind. The maneuver is called "kick off drift" or "de-crab" and is a side-slip, but one that puts you **PARALLEL** to the runway center line. I suggest doing it before the flare (start at about150 ft if in a C182 or similar so you can get stable before the flare). Trying to do it *almost* at the same time as you flare can be done but you must be on top of your flying.
HawaiiFlightAdventure.com's picture
Cross Wind Landing tips and tricks
Mantra rolling onto final: Rudders for parallel, Ailerons for drift, Pitch for speed, Power for glide path. You have to "flip the mental switch" that disconnects your feet from your hands. If you're having trouble staying on the center line (left of) just think: Put your butt right on the center line from final to touch down and you will only be 10 inches off! OK, one more obvious one... most piper and cessna yoke shafts are parallel with the longitudinal axes of the aircraft so if that is parallel with the center line then the aircraft is too. :) Does your monster yoke board or GPS hide this? Fly Safe! and for Pete's sake HAVE FUN!
Aircraft Rental for visiting Pilots! See Hawaii Your Way! Web: http://hawaiiflightadventure.com Email: buster@hawaiiflightadventure.com
Cross Wind
I am a student pilot out of KAPV, Apple Valley, CA and we have really bad winds. One of the things that is hard for me to do is keep center line. I really like the advise this board has to offer. I had no idea that the yoke shaft of my Piper is parallel to the longitudinal axis. When I sit left seat it just seems to feel like I am left of center line. I am going to keep that in mind next time I fly. Thanks!!!!
dpk1nba's picture
Bottom line...If you run out
Bottom line...If you run out of rudder to keep you lined up with the centerline then change runways or change airports. If you are a low time crosswind pilot and are using full rudder to stay lined up, change runways or change airports. Full rudder on final is an accident waiting to happen.


 'Wing down, top rudder' for

 'Wing down, top rudder' for shorthand, don't want to clutter the mind on short final. I'd also hold a few extra knots in gusty conditions, with reguard to runway length/ stopping distance.


   The comment about going elswhere if the winds are to much is spot on too. On a longer trip with gusty winds I factor that into airport selection.

160 HP 1974 Warrior

Crosswind Landings



I am new here, and I saw this thread...


I recently wrote two blog posts on crosswind landings...





If you have questions, email me at tspl@outlook.com.



Michael Teninty, CFI




There are a lot of techniques for crosswind landings, but the key is going out on a windy day and practicing :)

Bud Fox
Bud Fox's picture
X wind landing techniques
It's just physics. Y'all making this too hard. Rudder has 2 functions: corrects for adverse yaw (ball centered), and runway alignment. Aileron has 3: makes the bank that turns the plane, stops the drift over the runway, AND on roll out provides the adverse yaw that supplements the rudder with alignment. That's it...X wind landing short course. Only one rule covers all the above: KEEP AILERONE ALWAYS AND PROPORTIONALLY OPPOSITE THE RUDDER till off the runway. It's just physics. Capt. Bud CFI. 239 560 5465. Enjoy.
lakiri.holman@gmail.com's picture
Xwind in big jets?

Just wondering why we never see airliners use the sideslip for cross wind landings.  I do understand that it can be due to the threat of an engine nacelle contacting the ground but using a combination of Crosswind landing techniques would be better than just kicking the rudder at the last second before touchdown. As a new cfi I hesitate to teach a new student to use massive control imputs just before touchdown.  I am of the opinion that a stable approach all the way to the wheels are firmly on the ground is more consistant with safety.  Thanks in advance for any imput Capt. Bud...


L. Scott Holman 


this video is a great example!!