Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Aerial Phobias

Aviation’s bogeymen, and how to handle them

First, crosswind technique is in fact easy, but we often overthink it.
There are only two major things to remember, when setting up the touchdown in a crosswind:

Rule 1: Keep the nose straight with our feet regardless of what we’re doing with our hands.
Rule 2: Use our hands to cancel out any drift.

Don’t think in terms of cross-controlling. If, while applying aileron, it causes the nose to move, Rule 1 will take care of that. We may wind up cross-controlled. We may not. But don’t automatically assume we will. Light winds often don’t require opposite rudder. Don’t complicate it. Just look over the nose and apply Rule 1 and 2 together.

Inasmuch as gusts are the actual culprit in crosswinds, while training, we’ll seek out winds with healthy gust spreads and learn how to immediately deal with the differences they represent. This is a skill that can only be learned by doing, so the more time we spend ricocheting off the runway with an instructor, the better we’ll get and the more confident we’ll become.

Bogeyman, Be Gone

Just as the sun drives vampires back into their lairs, training does the same thing to our hidden fears. The bogeyman is a coward at heart and the instant we face him, he’ll magically disappear.


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