Crosswind Circuits

In which I do some more circuit bashing, but this time in a crosswind

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The original plan for today’s mission was to continue working on forced landings, but there turned out to be a fairly strong crosswind so we decided to just do a few crosswind circuits.

I hadn’t flown in a crosswind for a while so it was going to be interesting to see how I went. I preflighted 5231, taxiied us to 18R and did the takeoff.

After takeoff I felt the plane wanting to swing around into the wind – I let it do what it wanted to do and kept it on the centreline using small control inputs. It felt rather strange to have the nose pointing to the right but still be heading down the extended centreline.

Rather than discuss each circuit in detail (only did 3 of ’em), I’m just going to do a general overview of what I noticed about my flying during the circuits.

It was interesting having to remember to take into account the effect of the wind on each of my circuit legs. During the first circuit I turned downwind in the usual place and ended up drifting to the east side of Victoria Rd rather than staying to the west of it like usual – in the next two circuits I delayed my downwind turn slightly to account for that drift. It also affected my turn onto final since there was a tailwind on base – a few times my final turn was absolutely terrible, I turned too late and had to fly diagonally back to get back on the centreline.

I was interested to see how my landings were going to go today. As far as I can remember, I’ve never actually been briefed on crosswind landing techniques, just picked it up as I went along, so it was going to be interesting to see how my landings went. Happily, they were all unassisted (yay!). Since I haven’t done crosswind landings for ages I thought J might need to intervene but apparantly not! I use the crabbing technique for crosswind landings – this is where you point the nose of the aircraft into the wind and approach the runway on an angle then swing the nose straight with rudder just before touchdown. J actually commented that I was getting the aircraft very straight down the runway at touchdown which is nice. 🙂

We only did 3 circuits so there isn’t that much to say about this mission. Overall I was fairly impressed with my crosswind circuits, particularly considering I hadn’t done any for a fair while. Next mission we’re back to working on forced landings, adding in more elements such as checklists. Hopefully the weather cooperates!

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One Response to Crosswind Circuits

  1. GraemeK says:

    Interesting Darky – especially about not being briefed and picking it up as you went along …

    I’ve never been briefed either – but a while ago did an hour’s worth of crosswind landings in a fairly strong crosswind (I estimated 10-12kt) – it just all seemed to follow naturally when I was expecting a disaster!!

    Dunno if I was missing something, but it was just setting up the aiming point as usual (the fact that it was way over in the ‘screen was pretty much irrelevant, you’re taught to fly to the aim point) then make sure you’re pointing straight down the runway before the wheels touch using the rudder, as you normally do.

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