Crosswind landings--lots of them--simulated engine failure, and some
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,
Two things here:
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.
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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