# Crosswinds Lesson 3

### The Landing

As you fly your base leg you will more than likely add your next notch of flaps (20 degrees in Cessna, 25 degrees in Piper). You may consider leaving the flaps at just 10 degrees if you find yourself already low in relationship to where you are in the traffic pattern or if the winds are exceptionally gusty (landing a few knots faster with a lower flap setting will give you more airflow and authority over the flight controls to maintain positive control of the aircraft.

As you turn base to final, you will not make a full 90 degree turn in this example (wind 320 on rwy 23). As you turn from left base to final, you will want to stop the turn early (perhaps on a 245 degree heading) so you may crab at an angle into the wind to maintain runway center line. As you fly your final approach, consider increasing your approach speed by half of the gust factor, or in other words; wind is 320 13 gust 21 (you have a 8 knot gust factor) you would want to add 4 knots to your final approach speed. If you’re unsure what normal approach speed is, 1.3Vso usually works well (that’s 1.3 times the stall speed in the landing configuration).

### The Method

Once you are about 1/4 mile final or sooner, you will want to transition to the wing low method (using rudder to align the longitudinal axis of the airplane with the runway center line). At this point, rudder is used for YAW, and BANK is controlling your sideways drift. If you drift left of center line, you will need more BANK to the right, if too far right, reduce your bank to the right. NOTE: when dealing with a strong cross wind from the right, you will be using varying degrees of right BANK, if at any point you bank the airplane to the left you can expect to be blown very quickly to the left and will probably need to execute a go around.

The million dollar question is “how much bank, and how much rudder do I need?” The answer is as much rudder as it takes to make the nose line up with the center line of the runway (make the nose line up with the direction of travel of the airplane over the ground), and as much bank as it takes to generate enough horizontal lift to cancel out the crosswind. It is important to make control inputs in small amounts and give time for them to take effect, i.e. If you are drifting left in this scenario with 5 degrees of right bank applied, increase to 7 or 8 degrees, and give it a second to act against the inertia of the airplane to see if that is what you need. Quickly going from 5 degrees of right bank to 15 degrees will usually result over the next few seconds, the aircraft stopping left drift and beginning a right drift increasing in speed, which will cause you to be too far to the right and then make you reduce the bank angle by 5 to 10 degrees (again, too large of a correction), which will then start the left drift all over again. Students spend enormous amounts of time chasing themselves “oscillating” back and forth over the runway never fully managing to touch down the aircraft with no sideways drift. The secret to accomplishing a crosswind landing without sideways drift is managing bank angle in quick small amounts to constantly cancel out the crosswind. Looking outside the airplane down the length of the runway, making quick control inputs that cancel each other out (i.e. turning the yoke 20 degrees right and a half second later turning it back to the left 20 degrees, leaving you with just a small bank correction to the right even though you made large control inputs. DON’T hold the controls in any one position too long, keep it moving!)