Crosswind sign off

Following an accident on landing late last year, the Club instigated a policy of requiring all pilots to undergo a crosswind sign-off before being authorised to fly in crosswinds greater than 7 knots. This limit was deferred until the end of June 2010, and I now needed to get signed off for this.

I’d booked an aircraft last weekend to do this, but the wind ended up virtually dead calm on that day so the flight was cancelled. Had another attempt this weekend, and the forecast was looking good with the wind 15G25 about 40 degrees off the Lyneham crosswind runway.

As it happened, the wind was actually more like 17 or 18 knots about 20 degrees off the main runway, so 40 degrees off the crosswind runway, putting us potentially outside the demonstrated crosswind capability for a Warrior is we used the crosswind runway.

Mike initially had us do a couple of circuits on the main runway. Although there wasn’t much of a crosswind on this runway, the conditions were still quite tricky. I handled the circuits pretty well, although on the first didn’t really correct for wind sufficiently on the base leg so drifted away from the runway a fair bit.

As we reported downwind for the final circuit, the wind was given as 240 at 17 knots. This put us within crosswind limits for the crosswind runway, so as we turned base we got another wind check to make sure, then asked for permission to reposition for a landing on the crosswind runway (18). This was granted, so for the final circuit we headed for a crosswind landing quite close to the demonstrated crosswind limits for the aircraft.

This was my first ever landing on runway 18 I think, and the fact that it doesn’t have a displaced threshold meant I was initially slightly high. I soon sorted this out though, and there was a very pronounced crab angle required to maintain the centreline on final.

As we reached the roundout, I kicked off the crab and got us lined up relatively nicely. However the wind was varying a little, so I was having to make continual corrections with both rudder and aileron to maintain the centreline.  As we touched down I had a slight crab to the right, and was drifting slightly to the left. However the touchdown was well in control and Mike appeared happy.

The flight's track

The flight's track

So, I’m now signed off for crosswinds!

Total flight time today: 0:30
Total flight time to date: 129:55

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