I would like to propose an easy approach to uncomplicate the cross-wind approach and landing. The conventional teaching method is to approach and land wing low. This is performed by keeping the longitudinal axis parallel to the runway, keeping the flight path parallel to the runway, and landing on the upwind wheel. Until landing and following through with the appropriate control inputs. That sounds easy, WHAT! That didn’t sound easy at all, let’s see if we can improve on that.

The cross-wind approach can be described and performed by using 4 words.

TAXI

LEAN

LEVEL OFF

STALL

On your very first lesson you may have taxied to the active runway. Going around corners and keeping the plane on the center line is accomplished by using the rudder pedals. Push the left rudder pedal and the plane turned to the left. Push the right rudder pedal and the plane turns right. The rudder pedals will function similarly as the aircraft approaches the runway with a cross wind. As the aircraft approaches the runway on final it will be crabbed that means flying with the nose pointed at an angle into the wind so that the ground path remains down the runway center line. A landing performed while the plane is crabbed is very hard on the landing gear. The longitudinal axis of the aircraft must be made to parallel the runway. To accomplish this the appropriate rudder pedal needs to be pushed. This will line the longitudinal axis of the aircraft with the runway the same way as when you TAXI.

When the rudder peddle is pushed to keep the plane’s longitudinal axis lined up with the runway, the wind will push the plane off the center line. The alerions will need to be turned into the wind banking the wings or LEANING to counter act the drift across the runway. This is much the same as when riding a bicycle with a strong cross wind — you need to LEAN into the wind.

After TAXIING, and LEANING the ground will be getting closer. At an appropriate distance from the ground we need to LEVEL-OFF, maintaining altitude while airspeed bleeds off.

As the speed is dissipating, look down to the end of the runway and as the aircraft sinks, the horizon will appear to grow. The elevator must be pulled back to increase the pitch angle or STALL the aircraft onto the ground.

Because approximately 99 percent of all landings will involve a cross wind, the four important words to remember for all landings are:

TAXI

LEAN

LEVEL-OFF

STALL