Lesson 18
1.2 hours

Crosswind landings--lots of them--simulated engine failure, and some other things.

 I started off pretty ragged, but managed finally to get a handle on the technique of slipping on final to counteract the effect of the crosswind.

 The hardest part, I think, was to understand what Adam was trying to tell me to do.  He kept saying, "Keep the wing down."  I got that, all right, but didn't quite know how to manage it without turning off the line for the runway.  It should have been obvious, but I didn't see it for a while--just wasn't thinking along the right lines.  Eventually, though, I realized that "Keep the wing down" meant Do a slip.  After that, it got fairly easy, and I even began to wish for a stronger crosswind.

 If Adam had just said "slip," I would have known right away to cross the controls. Of course, I should have figured it out immediately, anyway.

 Two things here:

  1. Slipping is counter-intuitive exactly because it requires you to cross the controls. Normally, you want to coordinate the turn by banking and applying the rudder in the same direction.  In slipping, you deliberately UNcoordinate the turn by applying opposite rudder, which allows for a bank, but  prevents you from turning.  It's a mental trick.  You lose altitude somewhat faster, but because you're slipping into the wind, you're compensating for it..  Then the trick is to balance the ailerons and the rudder so you slip just enough but not too much, and stay lined up with the runway.

  2. Communication--or nomenclature--is always difficult.  Naturally, it's all the more difficult when there's hurry and pressure.  But the words one uses must reflect how one thinks about the situation.  That's old news, of course--but worth remembering.  When I was a kid trying to learn arithmetic, the phrase "least common denominator" used to confound me because to me "least common" meant "the rarest one," instead of "the smallest shared number."

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