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Old Dec 17, 2010, 7:39 PM   #1
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Default Crosswind Landing?

Judging from the right rudder application, looks like the pilot was dealing with a cross wind. Also check out the wisp of smoke from the nose landing gear.

With the weather turning cold, I am having withdrawls from not being able to hang out at the airport. I can deal with the cold, but the windchill at the airport is a killer!


BTW, another one that was accepted at airliners.net. http://www.airliners.net/photo/Polar...4b8cc36e0356bd

Jehan

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Old Dec 17, 2010, 9:45 PM   #2
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That's not a serious cross-wind landing! I recall a landing years ago at Aberdeen Airport in a BA Trident when we touched down with just the gear on one side, then rolled down the runway for hundreds of yards with the aircraft canted over at a good 20 degrees until we had slowed enough for the other wing gear to touch down. Then you could tell the pilot was fighting a tremendous cross-wind until the nose gear touched down. I'm a pilot and see these things, but this was so evident there was a cheer and round of applause from the entire cabin once our touchdown was complete.
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Old Dec 17, 2010, 11:47 PM   #3
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxDVq2gGgaA
Now THIS is a Crosswind landing!
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Old Dec 18, 2010, 8:39 AM   #4
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Both the description of the C/W landing as well as Utube link are scarry! When I was photographing this aircraft, there was no visible evidence of crabbing, etc that would have suggested a serious crosswind. I surmized however that there must have been some crosswind for the rudder to be applied.

Peter, with you being a pilot, you may know more about these than I do...would be interested in your input.

Jehan
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Old Dec 18, 2010, 9:07 AM   #5
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Watching that Utube video I think the pilot screwed up (in admittedly tricky conditions), and going around was the best decision he could have made. He left it pretty late to make it though. It's normal to crab on the way in, but once the aircraft is established on finals the pilot should switch from crabbing to side-slipping, so he will approach the runway straight on. This pilot tried to do that, but IMO left it too late to make the switch. He then didn't have enough time to get the amount of side-slipping right, and he was all over the place. In the final few seconds he used the entire width of the runway from right to left, trying unsuccessfully to get his aircraft to side-slip on to the runway. I agree with the caption - he did almost crash.

I've just watched the clip several more times. You can see that shortly after the aircraft passes over the perimeter fence the aircraft is crabbing to the right, but apparently under control. The amount of crabbing isn't that great and I can see no reason why it shouldn't have been able to land successfully. However, the pilot then loses the aircraft as he is trying to transition to side-slipping, and the aircraft is pushed over to the left of the runway. The pilot corrects that by crabbing back to the right, overshooting badly - he's only a 100ft or so above the ground by then. Then he again tries to side-slip and gets it very badly wrong, touching the runway with his port wingtip (see the cloud of dust) but fortunately not hard enough to cause a cartwheel. He over-corrects by steering hard right using his ailerons, but is again swept to the left by the wind as soon as he tries to straighten to runway heading. He again tries to side-slip to the right, but is by now well to the left of the runway centre-line and is in a dangerous situation as he is so close to the ground. His starboard gear hits the ground - see the cloud of smoke - and fortunately he has the presence of mind to climb away. It's also fortunate that he has clearly not forgotten all of his training and has kept the engines at high power - if he hadn't done so the engines would not have responded quickly enough and he would most certainly have crashed. I wonder whether he came round for a second approach, or abandoned it for another runway closer to the wind direction?

I would hope this pilot had his rating revoked until he had undergone more training. That incident was totally avoidable. Granted conditions were difficult, but he should have been able to cope better than that.

For a given aircraft there is a limit of crosswind that it can safely handle, though it didn't look that bad to me. Aberdeen Airport has/had just the one runway, and when we were landing on the occasion I described above I could see a windsock to the side that was horizontal and around 90 degrees to the runway. I don't know what speed that windsock was, but as it was horizontal the wind was clearly more than the sock was designed to register - it was honking. That pilot did an incredibly good job in getting us down without visible drama, though I should imagine it was pretty tense on the flightdeck.

Did you watch any other aircraft coming in to land when you photographed yours?

Last edited by peterbj7; Dec 18, 2010 at 9:44 AM.
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Old Dec 18, 2010, 1:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterbj7 View Post
Did you watch any other aircraft coming in to land when you photographed yours?
Where I was positioned I could not see much of the approach. I do not recall it being especially windy either. Cincinnati has an East West runway that is oftern used when there are strong winds that run 90 degrees to the runway that this aircraft used (36R). I was wondering if there were other circumstances where a pilot would apply rudder during a landing?

Jehan

Last edited by Wingman; Dec 18, 2010 at 1:30 PM.
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Old Dec 18, 2010, 1:28 PM   #7
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It's only to deal with a cross wind. At the same time the pilot would use the ailerons to tend to lower the wind-side wing. He's trying to get the lift on both wings equal during the run-out, so as to keep the aircraft more safely stable. The rudder is directly to stop the tendency of the aircraft to weathercock into the wind. A good pilot will make these adjustments on every landing, to a greater or lesser degree depending on the conditions.
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