Crosswind Liftoff Crosswind Liftoff

   As the nosewheel or tailwheel is being raised off the runway, the holding of aileron control into the wind may result in the downwind wing rising and the downwind main wheel lifting off the runway first, with the remainder of the takeoff roll being made on that one main wheel (Fig. 8-3). This is acceptable of course, and is preferable to side skipping.

   If a significant crosswind exists, the main wheels should be held on the ground slightly longer than in a normal takeoff so that a smooth but very definite liftoff can be made. This procedure will allow the airplane to leave the ground under more positive control so that it will definitely remain airborne while the proper amount of drift correction is being established. More importantly, it will avoid imposing excessive side loads on the landing gear and prevent possible damage that would result from the airplane settling back to the runway while drifting.

   As both main wheels leave the runway and ground friction no longer resists drifting, the airplane would be slowly carried sideways with the wind unless adequate drift correction is maintained by the pilot. It is important, then, to establish and maintain the proper amount of crosswind correction prior to liftoff; that is, aileron pressure toward the wind to keep the upwind wing from rising and rudder pressure as needed to prevent weathervaning.