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Thread: Crosswind landings...

  1. #1

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    Crosswind landings...

    First, I know how to land in crosswinds in a conventional geared aircraft.

    This is a little different question about it.

    The other day I found myself with a 90 degree crosswind at around five miles per hour (don't laugh, my plane is very light), and so did all the usual things with the wind coming from my right. The landing was okay, but a little rough for my liking.

    So I picked the plane back up and landed from the other end. Just aces - no problems.

    Going back through different videos and just thinking about it, it seems that I land much better (doing the same things) with the wind to my left rather than the right.

    Since I'm landing under power, could this be a propeller thing (my VW swings the other way than a certified aircraft engine), or am I just a doofus?
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  2. #2
    DaleB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Giger View Post
    Since I'm landing under power, could this be a propeller thing (my VW swings the other way than a certified aircraft engine), or am I just a doofus?
    Frank, are those two things mutually exclusive? I kid... though I've been called a doofus more than once also.

    Now that you mention it, though, I haven't paid much attention to which way is easier for me (conventionally turning prop)... but I seem to recall landing left of centerline a LOT more often than landing right of centerline. Maybe that means that I also have an easier time landing with a left crosswind; maybe it just means we have a lot more days with a right crosswind. Interesting question.

    Or maybe your second crosswind landing was better because you'd just done one and were more "in the zone".
    Last edited by DaleB; 11-20-2018 at 03:00 PM.
    Measure twice, cut once...
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  3. #3
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Giger View Post
    Going back through different videos and just thinking about it, it seems that I land much better (doing the same things) with the wind to my left rather than the right.

    Since I'm landing under power, could this be a propeller thing (my VW swings the other way than a certified aircraft engine), or am I just a doofus?
    Arm leverage on the stick. With a left-hand crosswind, you're compensating by pushing the stick to the left (holding the left wing down). A right hand crosswind, your leverage (and control) are worse. You're compensating by backhand, which is less natural.

    Ron "leftie loosey, righty crash" Wanttaja

  4. #4
    cub builder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Arm leverage on the stick. With a left-hand crosswind, you're compensating by pushing the stick to the left (holding the left wing down). A right hand crosswind, your leverage (and control) are worse. You're compensating by backhand, which is less natural.

    Ron "leftie loosey, righty crash" Wanttaja
    Not quite sure I buy that explanation. I fly one plane from the left seat with left hand on the stick, and my other plane is centerline seating with the right hand on the stick, both taildraggers. I'd rather deal with a crosswind from the left in either of them. I suspect that's because the airport I flew from for the last 30 years had a strongly predominant left crosswind on landing almost all the time, so it became more natural to me. It's something I practiced with almost every landing. That's not to say I'm not proficient and reasonably comfortable with a crosswind from the right. It's just not as comfortable for me.

    We could talk about P factor and torque effect. Most planes are built or at least rigged to compensate somewhat. You need right rudder on take off, and crosswinds from the left on take off are definitely more difficult than a crosswind from the right. Conversely, on landing a crosswind from the left is easier as it requires less rudder input than a crosswind from the right. However, since Frank is flying behind a VW, and it turns the opposite direction from conventional engines, well, that line of thought just got shot in the butt for Frank's crosswind landings.

    -Cub Builder

  5. #5
    You have brought up, to me at least, a very interesting question. Rusty pilot here, had not flown extensively for almost 40 years but recently got current and bought a Legend Cub. Have about 700 hours of flight time. In my flight review to get current again my CFI asked which way it was easier to turn. Without hesitation my answer was left. He asked why. I said because it's how your brain is programed. The answer he was looking for, as he told me, was the P factor. Got to thinking a lot about it. I am right side and right eye dominant and do everything right handed except anything that takes a swing stance. Baseball, throw right, bat left; golf left handed, fighting stance is southpaw. All of that is natural. First time I ever swung a baseball bat it was left handed. Cannot swing right handed. But, it has always been easier for me to turn left, be it in a plane, a race car, a boat, laying down a motorcycle or bicycle. And I also have about 250 hours in a modified VP-1 with a VW engine, which turns opposite or clockwise as viewed from the cockpit, so the P factor in a VW powered plane should be to the right; but it was still easier and more natural to turn left, land in a left crosswind, and spin to the left. Have also a lot of tail dragger time in Luscombes with side by side seating, left hand on the stick and right hand on the throttle, still easier and more natural to turn left, land in a left crosswind and spin to the left. Lot of time in tandem seating, such as the cub, same thing. Also have raced formula single seat race cars: for me it is more natural and easier to execute left hand turns than right handers on a road course. Ever see kids lay their bikes over and do a 180 spin; my memory is that they normally do it to the left. Same for laying down a motorcycle; for me easier and more natural to lay it down to the left. Now I do understand the P factor, but I speculate that for most people it is more natural to turn to the left regardless of the stick, yoke or cockpit layout or which way the prop is turning. Or maybe it's just me because I am mixed up on which way my body wants to function. Maybe a research study surveying 1,000 old fighter pilots would answer the question.

  6. #6

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    Do you have center-line seating, or are you in the left seat where you have a much better view, and are closer to the left main?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bugcollections View Post
    You have brought up, to me at least, a very interesting question. Rusty pilot here, had not flown extensively for almost 40 years but recently got current and bought a Legend Cub. Have about 700 hours of flight time. In my flight review to get current again my CFI asked which way it was easier to turn. Without hesitation my answer was left. He asked why. I said because it's how your brain is programed. The answer he was looking for, as he told me, was the P factor. Got to thinking a lot about it. I am right side and right eye dominant and do everything right handed except anything that takes a swing stance. Baseball, throw right, bat left; golf left handed, fighting stance is southpaw. All of that is natural. First time I ever swung a baseball bat it was left handed. Cannot swing right handed. But, it has always been easier for me to turn left, be it in a plane, a race car, a boat, laying down a motorcycle or bicycle. And I also have about 250 hours in a modified VP-1 with a VW engine, which turns opposite or clockwise as viewed from the cockpit, so the P factor in a VW powered plane should be to the right; but it was still easier and more natural to turn left, land in a left crosswind, and spin to the left. Have also a lot of tail dragger time in Luscombes with side by side seating, left hand on the stick and right hand on the throttle, still easier and more natural to turn left, land in a left crosswind and spin to the left. Lot of time in tandem seating, such as the cub, same thing. Also have raced formula single seat race cars: for me it is more natural and easier to execute left hand turns than right handers on a road course. Ever see kids lay their bikes over and do a 180 spin; my memory is that they normally do it to the left. Same for laying down a motorcycle; for me easier and more natural to lay it down to the left. Now I do understand the P factor, but I speculate that for most people it is more natural to turn to the left regardless of the stick, yoke or cockpit layout or which way the prop is turning. Or maybe it's just me because I am mixed up on which way my body wants to function. Maybe a research study surveying 1,000 old fighter pilots would answer the question.

    I always thought it was due to doing 100's of left handed circuits during training and to this day most traffic patterns are to the left.
    For me I prefer a crosswind from the left as I have more stick travel using my right hand. Moving the stick to the right my fist hits my right knee sooner to the right than moving the stick to the left.

  8. #8
    Dana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Arm leverage on the stick. With a left-hand crosswind, you're compensating by pushing the stick to the left (holding the left wing down). A right hand crosswind, your leverage (and control) are worse. You're compensating by backhand, which is less natural.
    ^^^^ This ^^^^

    Even learning, and later teaching people, to fly R/C models, everybody prefers to make left turns. In R/C, the stick is almost always worked with the right hand.

    And in planes with a yoke which you usually fly with your left hand, gravity helps you roll left.

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