October 1999 Issue

Crossed Up

Crosswind landings lead many pilots to grief, but the right technique can smooth them out

If vectors to a runway 90 degrees off the prevailing wind make your palms sweat, if you sometimes pick airports based more on avoiding crosswind landings than their proximity to your destination, you’re not alone.

Crosswind landings have been causing anxiety attacks in pilots for a long time now – along with crunched wingtips and bent landing gear – and will apparently continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Although all student pilots learn crosswind techniques, once on their own they tend to avoid crosswind landings whenever possible. The biannual tune-up often doesn’t help much, as many instructors are just as willing to seek out runways where the wind will be more inconveni...

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