May 2013 Issue

Crosswind Considerations

Knowing how to apply the basic techniques can help you decide how to handle them or park the plane and wait for better conditions.

Like debates on high-wing versus low, discussions of “proper” crosswind techniques stand among those topics that split pilot opinions. Roughly speaking, it’s long seemed that aviators maintain membership in one of three groups: One group favors flying crabbed approaches and departures. Another insists the wing-low, upwind-gear-first technique works best. The final group recognizes values in both and offers an answer often irritating to members of the other two groups: It depends, they say. Pilots should be competent enough to embrace either solution to crosswind transitions, employing the technique best for the time, the place and the aircraft.

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