Microsoft Flight Simulator Handbook

by Jonathan M. Stern

Crosswind Landings

For the same reasons described in the context of crosswind takeoffs, Flight Simulator is really appropriate for crosswind landings only if equipped with add-on rudder pedals. Separately controlling ailerons with two keys while controlling rudder with two other keys on the numeric keypad is not my idea of a good time.

If you fly Flight Simulator without rudder pedals, my advice is that you use auto-coordination. Save that added touch of realism until you decide you're ready to buy a set of rudder pedals. And without rudder pedals, crosswind takeoffs and landings will not succeed unless the crosswind component is very light.

Should you have add-on rudder pedals, by all means give the crosswind landing a try. The crosswind landing is accomplished using the sideslip, or wing low, method. Cessna recommends that the minimum flap setting required for the runway be used in a crosswind landing. On most runways on Flight Simulator, 10° or 20° is the most that should be used.

You make the final approach with the upwind wing lowered just enough to keep the airplane from drifting off the extended runway centerline while the opposite rudder maintains alignment of the airplane's longitudinal axis with the runway centerline (see Figure 6.7).

Figure 6.7. Crosswind landings are made with the wing low method.

As the airplane descends along the final approach, the degree of bank and cross-rudder must be reduced if the crosswind diminishes. It is also possible for the crosswind to exceed the capabilities of the airplane. The stronger the wind, the greater the bank into the wind required to control drift. The greater the bank into the wind, the greater the degree of rudder deflection required to maintain alignment with the runway centerline. Because the rudder has travel limits, it is possible to "run out of rudder."

The flare is similar to that in a normal landing, except that the wing low and opposite rudder are maintained all the way to touchdown. The upwind main wheel should touch down before the downwind main wheel (see Figure 6.8).

Figure 6.8. During a crosswind landing, the upwind main gear should touch down first.

As airspeed decreases in the flare and during rollout, it is necessary to increase the amount of aileron deflection until full upwind aileron is applied. There is a greater tendency during a crosswind landing to ground loop. Accordingly, pay attention to maintaining positive directional control of the airplane until it's back in the hangar.

To practice a crosswind landing, select "Lesson 4—Uncoordinated Flight" from the Advanced Lesson Category of the Options/Flight Instruction menu.

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