A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Crosswind flying

February 25, 2012
Emilie Phillips

Monday was a windy day. The forecast called for "breezy", which is not very definite, but it seemed unlikely that it would be a good day for a cross country. Instead, the winds were more than 18knots and I convinced my instructor to take me out to practice crosswind landings and takeoffs. The very first landing was a little wild. One of the wings caught the wind and started flying before the other. I did not correct properly and took off on the nose wheel. From there, I had a few more exciting moments, but the airplane stayed in the air.

The first landing was mostly a head wind. The approach on final started really high. Way higher than normal. It took the same amount of time to come down, just a lot less forward travel.

The next few takeoffs and landings were more crosswind than head wind. I did successively better on each of them. The hardest part was remembering to not relax the controls on landing. I had one landing where I floated a bit with the controls neutral and drifted sideways. The main trick seemed to be remembering to fly each axis of the airplane independently.

We flew home and because the wind was blowing strongly from the north, I got to do my first landing over the trees. The landing is totally different from a normal landing. In particular you dive steeply down at the runway after skimming the trees. My instructor had to help me with lots of verbal cues and managing the flaps. But we landed ok.