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Crosswind takeoffs

What about the take-off?

Since the take-off comes before the landing, shouldn’t we know how to take-off in a crosswind before we learn how to land in one?  Well, yes, but there is a big difference in consequences between the two.  We can always abort a takeoff (choose not to go flying that day) if we feel the conditions are not right, but once we are flying, we can’t choose not to land. Though it’s true that we can choose an alternate airport if winds are too strong to land in, and we absolutely should if we don’t feel it’s safe to land, but we should be able to land in a crosswind with proficiency if the situation arises.  It is a normal part of flying and should be practiced until it presents no difficulty.

During the takeoff, directional control is maintained with rudder, just as in a normal takeoff.  Depending on the strength of the wind, you may need more rudder than normal.   Ailerons are deflected into the wind, which counters the tendency for the upwind wing to be lifted by the wing and rise.

To take off in a crosswind, recall that when we taxi in a crosswind we use wind inputs.  As you add power, keep these inputs in all the way, and remember to add right rudder.  As your aircraft accelerates slowly neutralize the ailerons and release the wind inputs you need on the ground.   Anticipate adding your wind inputs as you get airborne to keep from blowing off the runway.

Remember, you want your runway directly behind you.  Enter into a slip, the same as when approaching in a crosswind.  Aileron into the wind – upwind wing dipped into the wind – and enough rudder to keep the longitudinal of the axis straight and aligned with your track on the ground.

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About Alicja

Learning to fly at CYBW, no 6 for aircraft movements in Canada. I live in the Rockies, economist, writer, skier, climber, obsessed with mountains & aviation!