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Airplane Flying Handbook
Approaches and Landings
Crosswind Approach and Landing

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Airplane Flying Handbook


Table of Contents

Chapter 1,Introduction to Flight Training
Chapter 2,Ground Operations
Chapter 3,Basic Flight Maneuvers
Chapter 4, Slow Flight, Stalls, and Spins
Chapter 5, Takeoff and Departure Climbs
Chapter 6, Ground Reference Maneuvers
Chapter 7, Airport Traffic Patterns
Chapter 8, Approaches and Landings
Chapter 9, Performance Maneuvers
Chapter 10, Night Operations
Chapter 11,Transition to Complex Airplanes
Chapter 12, Transition to Multiengine Airplanes
Chapter 13,Transition to Tailwheel Airplanes
Chapter 14, Transition to Turbo-propeller Powered Airplanes
Chapter 15,Transition to Jet Powered Airplanes
Chapter 16,Emergency Procedures



Generally, the roundout can be made like a normal
landing approach, but the application of a crosswind
correction is continued as necessary to prevent

Since the airspeed decreases as the roundout progresses,
the flight controls gradually become less
effective. As a result, the crosswind correction being
held will become inadequate. When using the wing low
method, it is necessary to gradually increase the
deflection of the rudder and ailerons to maintain the
proper amount of drift correction.

Do not level the wings; keep the upwind wing down
throughout the roundout. If the wings are leveled, the
airplane will begin drifting and the touchdown will
occur while drifting. Remember, the primary objective
is to land the airplane without subjecting it to any side
loads that result from touching down while drifting.

If the crab method of drift correction has been used
throughout the final approach and roundout, the crab
must be removed the instant before touchdown by
applying rudder to align the airplane's longitudinal
axis with its direction of movement. This requires
timely and accurate action. Failure to accomplish this
will result in severe side loads being imposed on the
landing gear.

If the wing-low method is used, the crosswind correction
(aileron into the wind and opposite rudder)
should be maintained throughout the roundout, and
the touchdown made on the upwind main wheel.
During gusty or high wind conditions, prompt adjustments
must be made in the crosswind correction to
assure that the airplane does not drift as the airplane
touches down.

As the forward momentum decreases after initial
contact, the weight of the airplane will cause the
downwind main wheel to gradually settle onto the

In those airplanes having nosewheel steering interconnected
with the rudder, the nosewheel may not be
aligned with the runway as the wheels touch down
because opposite rudder is being held in the crosswind
correction. To prevent swerving in the direction the
nosewheel is offset, the corrective rudder pressure
must be promptly relaxed just as the nosewheel
touches down.

Particularly during the after-landing roll, special
attention must be given to maintaining directional
control by the use of rudder or nosewheel steering,
while keeping the upwind wing from rising by the use
of aileron.

When an airplane is airborne, it moves with the air
mass in which it is flying regardless of the airplane's
heading and speed. When an airplane is on the ground,
it is unable to move with the air mass (crosswind)
because of the resistance created by ground friction on
the wheels.

Characteristically, an airplane has a greater profile or
side area, behind the main landing gear than forward
of it does. With the main wheels acting as a pivot point
and the greater surface area exposed to the crosswind
behind that pivot point, the airplane will tend to turn or
weathervane into the wind.

Wind acting on an airplane during crosswind landings
is the result of two factors. One is the natural wind,
which acts in the direction the air mass is traveling, while
the other is induced by the movement of the airplane and
acts parallel to the direction of movement. Consequently,
a crosswind has a headwind component acting along
the airplane's ground track and a crosswind component
acting 90° to its track. The resultant or relative wind is
somewhere between the two components. As the
airplane's forward speed decreases during the after landing
roll, the headwind component decreases and the
relative wind has more of a crosswind component. The
greater the crosswind component, the more difficult it is
to prevent weathervaning.

Retaining control on the ground is a critical part of the
after-landing roll, because of the weathervaning effect
of the wind on the airplane. Additionally, tire side load
from runway contact while drifting frequently generates
roll-overs in tricycle geared airplanes. The basic
factors involved are cornering angle and side load.

Cornering angle is the angular difference between the
heading of a tire and its path. Whenever a load bearing
tire's path and heading diverge, a side load is created.
It is accompanied by tire distortion. Although side load
differs in varying tires and air pressures, it is completely
independent of speed, and through a considerable
range, is directional proportional to the cornering angle
and the weight supported by the tire. As little as 10° of
cornering angle will create a side load equal to half the
supported weight; after 20° the side load does not
increase with increasing cornering angle. For each
high-wing, tricycle geared airplane, there is a cornering
angle at which roll-over is inevitable. The roll-over
axis being the line linking the nose and main wheels.
At lesser angles, the roll-over may be avoided by use
of ailerons, rudder, or steerable nosewheel but not