I've been trying to improve my simulation manual flying skills and recently have been working on the dreaded crosswind landing. I have read many posts and combed the internet for information. Mainstream thought seems to be crab on approach and switch to side slip on short final.
After about 100 landings using various combinations of crab and side slip, I find crabbing all the way to touchdown to be the easiest.
I was surprised to find this to be the case as most of what I read indicated that side slip was easier than crabbing at least for short final and touchdown.
While your timing needs to be good for a crabbed touchdown, and there are problems with side loads on landing gear, I found I had more problems trying to do constant small adjustments of rudder and alierons to touchdown in order to keep properly aligned.
I fly mostly small general aircraft prop planes.
I found very few people recommending the crab approach, and many seemed adamantly opposed to it.
I was wondering what the experiences of other people have been. Also, I'm wondering if the modeling of fs9 makes side slip harder vs real world flying.
One other note related to manual sim flying. Although, I am getting better at it, I still find it to be fatiguing. Maybe I'm just getting old.
FS9 doesn't model the aircraft well when it is being affected by both air and ground (at & after touchdown). In addition, most FS flight models don't behave like their real life counterparts (though there are a few that come close), and that's certainly true of the default aircraft. Nor do you have the physical feeling cues that help real world pilots in their crosswind responses (bouncing and sliding around the cockpit, sometimes called seat-of-the-pants flying).
So it may well be that you find the crab
& kick method easier in FS, and the consequences you'd find in real life aren't there in FS, either, such as side loads and swerving if your timing isn't exactly right. And there are some folks in real life who do the crab & kick, especially in jets with engines hung under the wings, since they don't have much clearance for an appreciable angle of bank next to the ground, but even some light aircraft pilots use crab & kick.
Both methods are legitimate, and you can certainly use whichever you prefer in FS without feeling that it's not realistic.
>I found very few people recommending the crab approach, and
>many seemed adamantly opposed to it.
those who are "adamantly" opposed to it are simply closed minded. although you state you do not fly airliners, some do not want slip
ping as damage may occur to the a/c (md80, 747, etc). as a general rule, it is good to crab down to 50' then s-l-o-w-l-y and smoothly bank into the wind (a slight bank usually) and add opposite rudder
. if the wind is stronger, i will start at 200' for the simple fact of seeing if i do indeed have enough rudder. most modern a/c are designed so aerodynamically "smooth" that usually 10kts
or less of xwind have a neglible effect on the a/c. a lot of times, too much correction is added thus side loading the other side due to this (thus another feather in the hat for the crab all the way crowd).
>I was wondering what the experiences of other people have
>been. Also, I'm wondering if the modeling of fs9 makes side
>slip harder vs real world flying.
i do not know about fs, is there a way to measure the side load? i always found the rudder difficult to model on fs. without "feeling" the airplane, i would imagine fs (if it models it properly) harder to do than real life.
>One other note related to manual sim flying. Although, I am
>getting better at it, I still find it to be fatiguing. Maybe
>I'm just getting old.
just like real flying.
When I was flying real aircraft, I used a combination of the crab down to short final, then using side slip
to correct for wind drift. It is much easier to fly a slip to landing in a real life due to the "feel" you have. Another factor that makes it difficult in FS is that the frame rates tend to drop as you get closer to the airport. Laggy frame rates can make it tough to make the small corrections necessary to keep from having to crank on the yoke.
How slick an aircraft is or isn't doesn't have an effect on how much of an effect a crosswind had on the aircraft. Believe it or not an ultralight will drift sideways at the same rate as an A380 with the same crosswind component. The difference is the time that they are exposed to the crosswind. The faster the approach the less drift to the side. If you work out a wind triangle it becomes clear.
The crab and kick method does require excellent timing on light aircraft. Throw in turbulence, changing wind direction due to buildings and trees and under or over correction can mean badly scuffed and flatspotted tires. Sideslips really do become easy in real life with practice. If you are doing your job properly, you will find yourself making three out of four landings on one wheel first. That THUD, WIGGLE, is a sign that the pilot didn't correct for that small amount of drift at the last minute and hoped the gear and tires would absorb the side loads.
>I was always taught not to hold the crab all the way to
>ground in light aircraft (especially light retracts),
>landing with the sideload is not good for the retractable
>gear. Not to mention uncomfortable. I understand the 747
>designed to land that way because of engine clearance in
>side slip, however, but it is certainly not a light
the point with a crab is not to crab all the way to
touchdown. you "kick" it out right before touchdown
thus having no sideload. of course the rudder actually will
cause drift to occur and a slight opposite bank will be
necessary to correct and thus a sideslip is done (so
technically in the last instance the two techniques are one
and the same).
i've seen some people instruct the side slip on a visual from
way too high (like 2 mile final at 600' agl). i don't know why
people are afraid of crabbing to a REASONABLE height.
on a side note. does anyone know where the term
"crab" comes from? my wife asked me and i've yet to
discover the origin of this.
>My Maule don't HAVE autobraking. Neither does the J-3 Cub, or
>the H-295 Helio Courier. Now what (heehee).
well i have never flown a tailwheel airplane, but since they like to weathervane i will say use the downwind brake with a full aileron deflection into the wind (upwind
side). of course being mindful of surface conditions when braking (ie i am not heavy on the brakes if i am on grass, besides brakes to me would be used very little in a tailwheel airplane).
of course i would ride the upwind tire as long as possible dissipating energy until both mains are on the ground then go to the above technique.
am i even close? besides don't most draggers touch down pretty slow anyways (ie not much need for braking)?
Depending on circumstances (and on the specific aircraft), tailwheel aircraft may need more brake than a tri-gear (or sometimes less), though you have to be extra careful. At taxi speed, due to the spring-loading of the tailwheel steering, you may need brake under some conditions (strong crosswinds, for example) where you'd not need much or any for a steerable nosewheel. Of course that also depends on the aircraft, since Cessna nosewheel steering is spring-loaded and Piper is directly connected, for instance. But a Grumman Cheetah/Tiger often needs MORE brake use than most taildraggers, since the nose wheel is free castoring. Of course there are taildraggers with free castoring tailwheels, too (N3N, for example), but those often have a tailwheel lock.
But while still appreciably above taxi speed on takeoff or landing, you probably don't need any more brake than in a nosewheel aircraft (i.e. little or none), again depending on the aircraft and assuming you don't have something like a quartering tailwind -- a Cessna 180 and a Cub are quite different in their needs. But this is also affected by the aircraft attitude, since a tailwheel inherently has the nose higher when on all three wheels -- in a Stearman, for example, the top wing blanks out the rudder as the tail is coming from level to a 3-point attitude, so brakes may be needed at a point where other aircraft wouldn't need them (a Cardboard Constellation doesn't have that problem).
If you're using brake immediately after touchdown, you're certainly at the ragged edge of the aircraft's capability, and you may not be able to touch down straight. As you slow, of course, things change, but most of the time you don't need brake until you are near taxi speed, if then.
But extra care is needed, since the tailwheel aircraft will easily swap ends on you unless you're on the ball
, something not well replicated in FS. In any case, in a tailwheel aircraft brakes shouldn't be used on the takeoff or landing unless you run out of rudder
authority, just as in nosewheels. And many taildraggers have more (relatively speaking) rudder authority than many trigear, partly because they don't have the nosewheel to resist unwanted turning.
besides don't most draggers touch down pretty slow anyways (ie not much need for braking)?
A Cessna 180 doesn't touch down much, if any, slower than a C-182. So, as with nosewheels, generalizations can get you in trouble -- aircraft vary a LOT.
since they like to weathervane
Tailwheels (as a group) don't inherently want to weathervane any more than nosewheels do, but the landing gear doesn't offer as much resistance to it as trigear does, so it may appear that way. Put a C-170B and an early (pre-1960) C-172 on floats and they'll have the same weathervaning tendency -- in fact, they are basically the same airplane.
There are many larger aircraft that allow for crabbing all the way down to touchdown. The 777 is one that comes to mind. The B-52 landing gear can get really sideways.
Most small airplanes will allow you to land in a crab and not damage anything. The fact is that once you are down to within a few feet of the runway it is not all that hard to smoothly align yourself with the centerline using rudder and a bit of aileron
I am also of the school that never felt particularly comfortable being cross-controlled and slip
ping down in a crosswind when I could simply adjust heading in a crab and maintain a stabilized approach all the way to roundout
. But that is me and we frequently have not just crosswinds, but gusts as well, and I just like a little more control when I am at a lower airspeed and crossing things up.
There is no right way to do these things other than the fashion that allows for solid control all the way to the chocks, and the method that keeps the gear on.
The best aircraft I have flown for cultivating the transition from a crab to a slightly dipped wing was the Rockwell 690C. It has big, spindly gear that are mounted in the engine nacelle
s on an overhead wing. They look fragile anyway and every time you get the thing down to backside dragging altitude and finally prepare to set down, the one thing that you think of is avoiding sideloads at all costs for fear of those dastardly struts breaking off. As it is you are sitting about a foot off the ground at touchdown. Not much wiggle room for your arse.