CHAPTER 11. Approaches and Landings

Crosswind Landings

When in fi nal approach, the wind correction angle (crab angle) is established by heading toward the wind with the wings level so that the aircraft’s ground track remains aligned with the centerline of the runway. [Figure 11-25] This crab angle is maintained all the way to touchdown, when the rear wheels hit fi rst and rotate the carriage and wing around so the front wheel touches the ground with the carriage going straight. However, if in turbulent air or pitched forward during the touchdown, with the front wheel touching the ground fi rst, the pilot should lightly control the steering of the front wheel to be headed in the direction the carriage is going. WSC carriage front landing gear typically has camber that tends to steer the front wheel naturally in the direction of travel, so a light touch on the front wheel as it touches the ground allows it to fi nd its own direction of travel. Once the front wheel is on the ground, lower the nose to keep the WSC on the ground and steer as required down the center of the runway.

The procedure for the wing during the roundout is the same as that for normal and turbulent roundout and touchdowns. The exception is that after touchdown the windward wing should be lowered slightly so the wind cannot get under it to fl ip the WSC aircraft during later landing roll and taxi.

Maximum Crosswind Velocities

Takeoffs and landings in certain crosswind conditions are inadvisable and even dangerous. [Figure 11-26] If the crosswind is great enough, a hazardous landing condition may result. Therefore, takeoff and landing capabilities with respect to the reported surface wind conditions and available landing directions must be considered.

WSC crosswind limitations have been tested and are included in the POH. The headwind and crosswind components for a given situation can be determined by reference to a crosswind component chart. [Figure 11-27] It is imperative that pilots determine the maximum crosswind component of each aircraft fl own and avoid operations in wind conditions that exceed the capability of the aircraft. The automatic weather observation system (AWOS) or automatic surface observation system (ASOS) at airports is useful in determining the measured velocity for this evaluation.

Common errors in the performance of crosswind approaches and landings include:

  • Failure to recognize a strong crosswind blowing at the runway during the downwind leg;
  • Failure to modify the pattern for strong crosswind conditions;
  • Failure to do a go-around when the fi nal approach to the runway is downwind of the runway centerline;
  • Attempting to land in crosswinds that exceed the pilot’s capabilities;
  • Attempting to land in crosswinds that exceed the aircraft’s maximum demonstrated crosswind component;
  • Inadequate compensation for wind drift on the turn from base leg to fi nal approach, resulting in undershooting or overshooting;
  • Inadequate compensation for wind drift on final approach;
  • Unstabilized approach;
  • Touchdown while drifting;
  • Excessive pressure on the nosewheel steering during touchdown;
  • Excessive airspeed on touchdown;
  • Failure to apply appropriate fl ight control inputs during rollout;
  • Failure to maintain direction control on rollout; and
  • Excessive braking.
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