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cross wind landings?

Old 09-07-2006, 03:21 PM
  #1  
pywackit
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Default cross wind landings?

Hey Guys, I've got a question about cross wind landings. I decided to go fly my Alpha 40 trainer at lunch time today and there was a SSW wind around 3-5 mph. I thought no biggie since the runway is North/South, so I started her up and took off fine and flew around and decided to come on in and pack it all up and hustle back to work. I did around 4 or 5 approaches and noticed the wind had increased and was heading West now. So I remained calm and just kept trying to line up and land. Well I'm sure you know that everytime I kept getting blown over to the west side of the runway....way west! I couldn't land in the grass since it was way to tall to land there so tried one more time and came in at an angle and touched down kinda light with only two bounces then she stopped right after she went off the runway...no damage at all and I was very happy with that landing but knew it could be way better. Just what do you do for landing in such a cross wind? I don't use my rudder much since I'm new at this and have had no trouble in the past with no wind landings but I also used just my ailerons for control. I was the only one at the field during lunch which is heaven to me so I plan on doing these lunch time flights more. Granted this wasn't a crash but it could have been so easy......I figure I was lucky! Sorry if this kinda ran on.
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Old 09-07-2006, 03:32 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

You already know what the answer is.

RUDDER

Next time you get some wind, fly approaches for a whole tank. Never touch down, just shoot some approaches. Learn do use the rudder...new or not, you need it. Once you've done it a few times, its natural.

Its a litter more difficult with a trainer, because of the dihedral you have to give some opposite aileron to keep it from rolling, but you will get it eventually.

If you're worried about doing that, or you cant find the wind...get up high and do some knife-edges...that will teach you how to use your rudder and ailerons together...trainers DO NOT like to do knife edges...but they are fun once you get it down...
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Old 09-07-2006, 04:26 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

Rjm1982, thanks for the advice! I didn't realize dihedral could have such an effect. I'm guessing a wing with no dihedral wouldn't have done that?
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Old 09-07-2006, 04:44 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

Yes, a straight wing will normally stay level with rudder. With dihedral, the forward wing tip is angled up into the wind and the rearward wing tip angled up away from the wind. The forward tip gets positive lift and the rearward tip gets negative lift causing the plane to roll and yaw at the same time. At least that's what seems logical to me.

Definitely learn the rudder. It will open up a whole new world of flying for you. There are so many cool ways to maneuver a plane that couldn't be done without rudder. Eventually it will become second nature to you.
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:23 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

ORIGINAL: pywackit

Hey Guys, I've got a question about cross wind landings. I decided to go fly my Alpha 40 trainer at lunch time today and there was a SSW wind around 3-5 mph. I thought no biggie since the runway is North/South, so I started her up and took off fine and flew around and decided to come on in and pack it all up and hustle back to work. I did around 4 or 5 approaches and noticed the wind had increased and was heading West now. So I remained calm and just kept trying to line up and land. Well I'm sure you know that everytime I kept getting blown over to the west side of the runway....way west! I couldn't land in the grass since it was way to tall to land there so tried one more time and came in at an angle and touched down kinda light with only two bounces then she stopped right after she went off the runway...no damage at all and I was very happy with that landing but knew it could be way better. Just what do you do for landing in such a cross wind? I don't use my rudder much since I'm new at this and have had no trouble in the past with no wind landings but I also used just my ailerons for control. I was the only one at the field during lunch which is heaven to me so I plan on doing these lunch time flights more. Granted this wasn't a crash but it could have been so easy......I figure I was lucky! Sorry if this kinda ran on.
3-5mph wind? We don't even call that a breeze here in deep south Texas. Consitent 10-15mph wind in summer. As has been pointed out, "Use the rudder, Luke" <sorry, Star Wars fans>

Remember, the plane does not know that there is a cross-wind. Don't force the approach, fly the plane and use BOTH hands. Practice, practice.

Safe Flying!
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:31 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

RJM has some good advice but I will say that since you are so new at this DO NOT try to do knife edge flight. You would be better off doing rudder turns. You will quickly see how easy it is after a few tries.

The easiest and best way to learn rudder turns is this.

Fly along at least three mistakes high (roughly 200 feet and give rudder in whatever direction you want. Do not give it a lot, just a tiny bit as the rudder is very powerful and is the most powerful surface on any aircraft.

Now once the turn starts it will most likely want to drop the wing on the inside of the turn and probably it will want to climb or even dive slightly. So couteract the wing dropping by adding only enough aileron to keep the wings level and enough elevator to stay level.

Try to do these both ways, using both left and right rudder, when you can do these without thinking about it you are ready for any crosswind mother nature can throw at you as long as the airplane itself can handle it.

Besides rudder turns are just plain fun to do
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:37 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

Remember, the plane does not know that there is a cross-wind. Don't force the approach, fly the plane and use BOTH hands. Practice, practice.
Good point. Of course, once it touches the ground it does and just before that is when you need to apply rudder (and maybe a touch of opposite aileron) to straighten it out. A good way to practice for crosswind landings is to practice slipping (cross control) the plane in still air. Hold left rudder and feed in just the right amount of right aileron to keep the plane level and vice versa for right rudder. Once you master flying the plane freely in a slip, crosswind landings will be a breeze. Pun intended. The slip is also very handy to slow down a fast landing approach, especially on dead-stick.
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:39 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

Bubba beat me to it. [sm=wink_smile.gif]
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:39 AM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

Excellent advice for learning! Thanks a lot guys, everything you said makes perfect sense to me. Can't wait to try these methods.
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:15 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

Pywackit,
The boys got it right!! Perfect explanation Gents!! Just gonna flip in my 2 cents, if you get caught before you get it down pat, try this (emergency use only) fly her all the way down, crab it to stay on the center line, chop the power, flare, and kick the rudder ONLY as she's setting down, so you don't tear off the gear. Not pretty, but like I said emergency use only!! Its like the "cross wind starter kit"!!
Rubber Side Down Boys!!
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:18 AM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

Watch the bigboys do it in 747's and 777's [link]http://media.putfile.com/Crosswind-certification-tests[/link]
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:23 AM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

I never get tired of watching that video. The drama of those visuals are the epitome of Man's ingenuity and passion in creating such great metal beasts that fly and gently return to earth while fighting the great forces of Mother Nature in the process.
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Old 09-12-2006, 07:51 AM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

Gentlemen,

I love being right! For the sole reason I can tell my wife!! Can someone call my wife and let her know that it is possible?

Pywackit,...
...fly her all the way down, crab to stay on the center line, chop the power, flare, and kick the rudder ONLY as she's setting down...

Hey ArCeeFlyer how's Joe doing, no complexes or anything I hope, tell him I said hello!!
Rubber Side Down Boys!!
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:24 AM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

I quote myself from May of last year and August of the year befor that

Ok guys t he three methods of landing crosswind.

ONE
The its a hobby and let's keep this as simple as possible method. On final,on the extended centerline of the runway, allow the airplane to crab , wings level into the wind to maintain a ground track on the extended centerline of the runway. Now, except for gusts, all you have to worry about is pitch and power to land on the centerline of the runway, just as if there were no crosswind at all. OMG! you're going to land in a CRAB ! The ONLY reason a 1:1 airplane aligns with the runway in the first place is to keep from tearing the landing gear out from excessive sideload. WE don't have that problem on our models. Once the mains are down and the wing is no longer flying, now add rudder to stay on the centerline of the runway.

TWO
Copy the 1:1 airliner method. Again on final,on the extended centerline of the runway, allow the airplane to crab , wings level into the wind to maintain a ground track on the extended centerline of the runway. Now, except for gusts, all you have to worry about is pitch and power to land on the centerline of the runway, just as if there were no crosswind at all, except, just before touch down you add or kick in enough rudder to align with the runway. In a heavy crosswind you MAY add just a touch of opposite aileron to roll in to the prevailing wind to keep the airplane from drifting to the downwind side of the runway. This method is taught to almost ALL 1:1 scale pilots because it is the easiest to do when flying an instrument approach, and it is the most comfortable to the passengers.

THREE
The let's see how difficult and masochistic we can make this, and raise the probability of a stall spin crash on final, increase the rate of decent and see if we can cartwheel by hitting the wingtip first method. Again on final,on the extended centerline of the runway, this time yaw the airplane away from the prevailing wind with the rudder. This will cause the ground track to now slide downwind. Now add opposite aileron to slip the airplane back into the prevailing wind and use the canted lift off the wing to pull the airplane back onto the ground track on the extended centerline of the runway. So, far from the end of the runway, you're flying what is in essence a side slip to maintain runway centerline. Now you are low, slow and you already have the cross controlled inputs, so if you shold slow down too much in this configuration your'e ready to start a beautiful one turn spin to a crash short of the runway. On the other hand, If you do make it to the runway hold the crab / cross control into the flair and land on the up wind wheel, then slowly let outall of this cross control input till you track down the centerline. In a full scale airplane this is an un coordinated condition and is guaranteed to make your passengers very uncomfortable, if not down right scared. IN a model, how exactly do you know you're on the centerline any ways from 400 feet out?

Which makes more sense to you?

I'm sorry, y'all can advocate a long slip down final till the cows come home, it is taught to full scale folks but not the preferred method because it is un coordinted flight, and you are raising the danger of loosing the plane to a low altitude stall-spin, and its just downright hard to fly an ILS with the airplane in a cross controlled configuration.

YES, I whole heartedly agree that one shoudl practice slips to learn how to increase drag to get a plane quickly down over a tree line but for heavens sake take the simple method in landing; crab to maintain the needed groudnd track and touch down that way.
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Old 09-12-2006, 10:11 AM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

why not let the person flying the plane decide which option is best instead of arguing which is best. The term "Pilot's descretion" comes to mind.

I myself do any of the above depending on what I feel would work best considering the conditions and the plane being flown. A good trainer/sport plane will handle the side loads of a crab to landing as long as the landing speed is slow enough, but most, not all, lite 3D planes have a hard time keeping their gear attached on a single bounced landing, let alone the side loads from a crabbed landing. Also, a landing made too fast in a crab configuration can easily remove the gear from a well built 4 Star, I've seen it done tons of times

There is no harm in practicing all 3 methods as your skill level increases. If someone wants to cross control to a landing let them, do not put them down for it. Let them know that there are risks involved in all 3 types of cross wind landings and several ways to practice them at a safe height and speed but let them know in a calm pleasant tone.

Yes, this is a hobby, but what is the problem with increasing ones skill level to handle all types of wind conditions and better control of the plane, no matter what plane that is.

No one is saying you are wrong or right.

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Old 09-12-2006, 10:49 AM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

Tomski,
Fello Pol good day. Ok all that stuff you just said and this: Models might not tear off gear but they do flip over and tear up landing gear Blocks!! No one likes to do the walk of shame into the middle of the field!![&o]

This is for the greenies: Do not sweat the details on cross control. You can cross control the Space Shuttle if you wanted to. The reason for the "Rudder Kick" technique is because its the easy way to start cross wind landings. Greenies the ONLY thing you have to do is keep the nose down in a cross control. Thats it!! No stalls, no spins, no smokin hole manuver... Nadda! Nose Down thats it!

Hey Tomski I godda call you out a little on that "cross control ILS" thing... Dude no one flys an ILS cross controlled. Crossin it up is for LANDING not flying an approach. Check this, if your flyin down to minimums your thinking about breakin out or having to go missed. The plane being lined up with the center line is not important, tracking the localizer and GS sure, but not lined up. (personnally more than a dot and a half and your screwin the pooch)
Rubber Side Down Boys!!
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:35 AM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

When I mentioned slipping, I only meant right before touchdown to straighten the plane out to the runway. I don't see the need to slip the whole way in on approach unless you just want to have fun with it. I like using the crosswind to make a slip even more dramatic with slow sideways passes. Good point about keeping the nose down in a slip and don't forget the throttle management which also helps. It's all good practice making one use all 4 controls at the same time.
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:12 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

Hey Guys.....What's a side slip or a crab and what's a "cross control ILS" and rudder kick sounds just like what you would do but this is so interesting but this Greenie is lookin into bright lights at this time. I did understand coming in nose down for cross control but that sounds scary to me right now......any mention of nose down puts red flags up for me right now in this learning curve.

Oh yeah! Almost forgot...I went flying the other morning and tried those rudder turns with a little aileron appied to counter act the wing tip drop. I did this about 2-3 mistakes high so felt I could control it if something bad happened, nothing did but I didn't feel like I had total control of this technique yet and landed straight and level. There was no cross wind for these last 5 flights. Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:24 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

Ya, I guess you're getting bombarded with all kinds of advanced suggestions. Just take it a little at a time and you'll get there. Cross control is just applying opposite rudder and aileron and, of course, keeping the pitch and speed under control at the same time. That's a slip or crab. It takes cross control to do it. Hey, one thing I think is important is don't let the term nose down scare you. Think just the opposite. Try to devlelop a reflex to give nose down when getting into any stall or potential stall situation even if you're only 10' off the ground. The quicker the better. It's the only way to get the airspeed back, unless you have engine running and plenty of power to just yank it back up. Just keep telling yourself, "nose down good, nose up bad".
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Old 09-12-2006, 05:29 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

Pywackit,
Alan is right don't let "nose down" scare you at all, we don't mean straight down, maybe 10-15 degrees, thats all. Don't concern yourself with all that "ILS" crap, thats full scale, we'll get to that next month.
BOOYAH!! Those rudder turns you were doing keeping the wings flat with no bank... That is cross controlled!!! Your on your way!!!
(By the way all of Alan's information is comming from JOE!!)
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Old 09-12-2006, 06:56 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

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Old 09-12-2006, 07:08 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!
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Old 09-12-2006, 07:51 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

This would be a great thread for the bigginers forum [8D]
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:19 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

Gum,
Your Right! BUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTT we could have a Spelling Bee?
ORIGINAL: gumhead


This would be a great thread for the bigginers forum [8D]

The suspect word class is "bigginers"

Spelled "Beginners", Pronounced "BE" "GIN" "ERS", Defined as: One who commences, starts or takes the first step in an action. Any Questions???

Rubber Side Down Boys!!!
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:50 PM
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Default RE: cross wind landings?

Its called a typo not a spelling error. I just love people that go around feeling good about them self because they find typos or spelling errors. I thought we were here because of a common interest. I didn't know that spelling counted. I just thought this info would help some beginners.


ORIGINAL: Arrow IV

Gum,
Your Right! BUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTT we could have a Spelling Bee?
ORIGINAL: gumhead


This would be a great thread for the bigginers forum [8D]

The suspect word class is "bigginers"

Spelled "Beginners", Pronounced "BE" "GIN" "ERS", Defined as: One who commences, starts or takes the first step in an action. Any Questions???

Rubber Side Down Boys!!!
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