Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

This forum has been developed to discuss flight instruction/University and College programs.

Moderators: lilfssister, North Shore, ahramin, sky's the limit, sepia, Sulako, Right Seat Captain

User avatar
hz2p
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1086
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 9:38 am

Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by hz2p »

Couple days ago, going around the pattern. Windsock across the runway. It had been straight out earlier, but as the evening went on the wind decreased and the windsock might have been at 45 degrees. Perhaps 5 or 6 knots of crosswind?

Into the pattern comes a 172. Flies long, long legs. Overshoots on final, declaring that "there's too much crosswind for a fully loaded 172!" and he gives up on trying to land on the only runway, with 5 or 6 knots of crosswind.

I figured this guy was a fresh PPL, so no biggie. Found out later he holds a Commercial Pilot's Licence. And can't land a 172 with 5 or 6 knots of crosswind.

There is something really, really wrong with this picture. Cessna says that there is no limiting crosswind number, and that an "average" pilot should be able to land with a 15 knot direct crosswind. It would be nice if commercial pilots had "average" pilot skills as assessed by light aircraft manufacturers, but that wouldn't seem to be the case any more.

I realize that FTU's, in the interest of minimizing accidents, place very restrictive limits on the conditions that their aircraft can be flown in.

Unfortunately, this appears to produce a very inferior product. Sure, the FTU has a low accident rate, but their graduates have very limited skills. One wonders how they managed to pass their flight tests, and how impartial their on-staff Pilot Examiners are.

There is something really, really wrong with this picture. If someone can't land with 5 or 6 knots of crosswind, they really shouldn't have a private pilot's licence, let alone a commercial pilot's licence. They're not ready to carry passengers - certainly not paying ones!
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
modi13
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:49 pm

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by modi13 »

If a pilot can't land a 152 with 25 knot crosswinds they shouldn't be flying, regardless of whether they're a CPL or RPP. Being able to perform a slip on final should be a minimum requirement of having a licence.
---------- ADS -----------
  

iflyforpie
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 7975
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:25 pm
Location: Winterfell...

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by iflyforpie »

:smt017

The heavier the aircraft, the higher the wing loading.

The higher the wing loading, the faster you fly the approach.

The faster you fly the approach, the smaller the crosswind component of your approach vector is (and hence, the smaller the crab angle and/or slip rate).

I've done 25G35 straight across with difficulty in a 172. Damn Cranbrook airport and putting the only runway exactly 90 degrees to the prevailing winds...
---------- ADS -----------
  
Geez did I say that....? Or just think it....?

User avatar
Shiny Side Up
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 5335
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:02 pm
Location: Group W bench

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by Shiny Side Up »

modi13 wrote:If a pilot can't land a 152 with 25 knot crosswinds they shouldn't be flying, regardless of whether they're a CPL or RPP. Being able to perform a slip on final should be a minimum requirement of having a licence.
Unfortunately the system leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to what it lets through as satisfactory. Keep in mind that to get to be a commercial pilot you will have had to have done a total of 4 acceptable landings for an examiner, of which I might note there is no stipulation that one demonstrate any ability to land with any crosswind component. I'm of the opinion that the testing as it currently stands is inadequate. Theoretically everyone before they go solo is supposed to have done slips and a lesson focusing on crosswind take offs and landings.

Worse yet is that there are getting increasingly more people higher up in flight training, who to put it lightly, don't know what the f*ck they're doing. Recently I sat through a debrief of one of my class 4 instructor student's rides where the examiner went through what a bad demonstration my acolyte did during the ride when they used a slip on the normal landing demonstration. They went as far to say that they didn't think slips should ever be necessary. I was dumbfounded to say the least. Straight from the horse's mouth. If this is the top end of the QC of our system, we got really bad problems.
---------- ADS -----------
  
We can't stop here! This is BAT country!

User avatar
Cat Driver
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 18921
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:31 pm

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by Cat Driver »

Alight test examiner actually said slips should not be taught?

Who approved him/her as an examiner?
---------- ADS -----------
  
The hardest thing about flying is knowing when to say no


After over a half a century of flying no one ever died because of my decision not to fly.

Snowroller
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:30 pm
Location: CYUX/CYYT

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by Snowroller »

Crabbing & slipping are the best fun in landings....
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Shiny Side Up
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 5335
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:02 pm
Location: Group W bench

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by Shiny Side Up »

IF you want to weep think about this: He somehow got a commercial pilot's license - Loophole one. Somehow he became an instructor - loophole 2 passed. To get to where he's at he had to become at least a class 1 instructor - so somewhere in there think about how many new class 4s he then taught. That makes like loophole 3, 4, 5, and 6... 7 including getting DFTE status. To work for transport and conduct instructor rides TC's website says you have to at least recommended ten class 4's for their tests while working as a class one. I'm sure if someone was good with probabilities we can see how many people this individual has possibly affected. How many pilots would that make produced by the system who have possibly been corrupted?
---------- ADS -----------
  
We can't stop here! This is BAT country!

User avatar
Cat Driver
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 18921
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:31 pm

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by Cat Driver »

Maybe corrupted is the correct word, for sure it is a shocking situation you are describing.

What ever happened to that college of pilots they were forming?
---------- ADS -----------
  
The hardest thing about flying is knowing when to say no


After over a half a century of flying no one ever died because of my decision not to fly.

User avatar
square
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 951
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:36 pm

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by square »

Slips shouldn't be necessary, no -- unless you're talking about the actual cross-wind landing attitude. What I'm pretty sure the examiner meant by that is that the airplane should not be so high as to require the pilot to make a slip on final to regain the appropriate approach profile. Idle power with full flaps is already an excessive descent rate. I haven't slipped an airplane in years. A crosswind approach on final should be made crabbed, on the extended centerline, with a transition to a slipping attitude just short of the runway threshold to line up the longitudinal axis of the airplane with the centerline. But slipping way back from the threshold.. no. You get inaccurate airspeed readings, scare the jesus out of your customers, are completely unstabilized and descending at an excessive rate. Unless I'm misunderstanding you but yeah I totally agree with the examiner a slip should never be necessary and in any 704 or 705 airplane the SOPs would more than likely dictate you execute a missed approach if you're that high, rather than make the airplane go sideways at the ground.

And yeah sad pilot story in the OP, but at least he didn't smoke it into the ground. We all have limitations and he is lol, totally on top of the fact that his own are very low. Good show.
---------- ADS -----------
  

PanEuropean
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 373
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:03 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by PanEuropean »

square wrote:...We all have limitations and he is lol, totally on top of the fact that his own are very low. Good show.
I'm with Square on this one. +1 to the pilot, who decided (for whatever reason) that he was not comfortable carrying out a maneuver that the aircraft was capable of doing. Who knows why - maybe he has not landed in a crosswind for a while, maybe he was not especially current in that type of aircraft, or maybe he was just a little tired and not feeling at the 'top of his game' that day.

Rather than seeing this as a failure for crosswind landing technique, I see it as a success for pilot decision making.

Michael
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
hz2p
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1086
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 9:38 am

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by hz2p »

Slips shouldn't be necessary
It's a good thing that Bob Pearson side-slipped a B767-200 on July 23, 1983, to land at Gimli, MB:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glid ... g_at_Gimli
Pearson decided to execute a forward slip to increase drag and lose altitude. This maneuver is commonly used with gliders and light aircraft to descend more quickly without gaining forward speed
Yesterday I flew 6 flights in 3 very different types of aircraft, 2 of which did not have any flaps whatsoever. The slipping turn onto final is a wonderful technique for these kinds of aircraft, and is becoming a lost art. And not every pilot jumps right into an Airbus after they get their CPL - there is plenty of 702 flying, such as jumper dumping and banner tow, where a sideslip is a normal part of flight.

This "slips are not necessary" attitude might help explain why so many new pilots struggle with crosswind landings.
---------- ADS -----------
  

jump154
Rank 6
Rank 6
Posts: 421
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:50 pm

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by jump154 »

Guess I was lucky learning at a school where almost every landing was a crosswind - and on a relatively narrow runway. Yes, It took me a while to get the hang of...I soloed 'late' and my flight test was 'late' - mainly due to troubles I had getting landings perfected (Only frustration was many early cancelled lessons due to said crosswinds, which was a contributor to the increased hours) ~ but now - I've got my license and i'm building hours and I enjoy crosswinds! . I've even been complimented a couple of times. Funnily enough, flight test was on a light and variable day, so didn't get to demonstrate it then. It's not a race, take time to learn well.
---------- ADS -----------
  

KK7
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 855
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:41 am

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by KK7 »

Something I think should be mentioned though, is in the case of a pilot with a fresh CPL, it is often warranted but it is sometimes too easy just to blame issues they have on training and poor instruction. A responsible pilot, particularly a professional pilot, should be able to recognize some of their own basic shortcomings, and find a way to overcome them, even if that means finding an instructor and getting them to teach them how to handle certain situations. The pilot referred to in the original post really has no excuse regarding not being able to handle a light cross wind in a simple airplane that is designed to easily handle the situation. Poor training or not, if he can't go out and try to fix this basic and easily identifiable problem, then it's a problem with the individual, not his training.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Shiny Side Up
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 5335
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:02 pm
Location: Group W bench

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by Shiny Side Up »

square wrote:Unless I'm misunderstanding you but yeah I totally agree with the examiner a slip should never be necessary and in any 704 or 705 airplane the SOPs would more than likely dictate you execute a missed approach if you're that high, rather than make the airplane go sideways at the ground.
I think you are misunderstanding, but your response indicates one of the sources of this predjudice against slips. This wasn't a PPC ride in a 704 or 705 operation type aircraft, it was a Class 4 instructor ride to which, unless I didn't get the memo, are still expected to be able to not only do slips, but teach them as well.
hz2p wrote:Yesterday I flew 6 flights in 3 very different types of aircraft, 2 of which did not have any flaps whatsoever. The slipping turn onto final is a wonderful technique for these kinds of aircraft, and is becoming a lost art. And not every pilot jumps right into an Airbus after they get their CPL - there is plenty of 702 flying, such as jumper dumping and banner tow, where a sideslip is a normal part of flight.
On this we'd be of the same opinion. Its one of the most directly useful manuevers a pilot is going to learn during their PPL level of training, but often one of the most overlooked and definitely unappreciated.
Paneuropean wrote:Rather than seeing this as a failure for crosswind landing technique, I see it as a success for pilot decision making.
Of course then that begs the question if the conditions were beyond his capabilities why he went flying in the first place. I would agree that if, for whatever reason, he wasn't good with landing the airplane safely that it was a good decision to overshoot, was a good decision, it doesn't make up for what were probably a lot of bad decisions that led him to that point. If he was tired or just brought his "B" game, why on earth was he flying? If Since he recognizes that his capabilities are low, why isn't he making an effort to improve them?
KK7 wrote:Poor training or not, if he can't go out and try to fix this basic and easily identifiable problem, then it's a problem with the individual, not his training.
The only problem is that if said person was handicapped by being trained poorly in the beginning, they aren't equipped to identify their problem in the first place. You are correct in that the individual still bears the load of the responsibility for his poor performance. Unfortunately this applies often when it comes to people's attitudes towards skill intensive activities.

Image
---------- ADS -----------
  
We can't stop here! This is BAT country!

User avatar
Cat Driver
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 18921
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:31 pm

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by Cat Driver »

Into the pattern comes a 172. Flies long, long legs. Overshoots on final, declaring that "there's too much crosswind for a fully loaded 172!" and he gives up on trying to land on the only runway, with 5 or 6 knots of crosswind.

I figured this guy was a fresh PPL, so no biggie. Found out later he holds a Commercial Pilot's Licence. And can't land a 172 with 5 or 6 knots of crosswind.
Another slant on this issue.

How many small commercial operators would hire this pilot to fly for them?
---------- ADS -----------
  
The hardest thing about flying is knowing when to say no


After over a half a century of flying no one ever died because of my decision not to fly.

AEROBAT
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 554
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:27 am

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by AEROBAT »

It seems the reluctance to forward slip an aircraft is becoming the norm now. I would rather see a pilot come in a little high and forward slip to hit the numbers than a person who jockeys the throttle on final.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
gaamin
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:56 am

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by gaamin »

This is not related to XWind landing, but I'll throw it it nonetheless :

A time I like to use forward slip instead of flaps is when encountering strong updrafts/downdrafts on approach.

Putting the aircraft into and out of a slip is very quick, changes drag a lot but doesn't impact lift so much.
If hitting a strong downdraft after slipping during the updraft, one can just get out of a slip and if necessary add a small amount of power. On the other hand, if using full flaps to get down during the updraft, when hitting the downdraft retracting flaps would reduce one's Angle of Attack, and in a Cessna would take a fair amount of time, probably requiring a very substantial increase in power during that time, and adjustment while the flaps come up.

When flying a power-off approach in convective conditions, this shows even more.
---------- ADS -----------
  
JBL

Trematode
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 224
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:46 pm

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by Trematode »

I'm talking out of turn here, but it sounds like the DFTE might have been concerned with a sloppy approach that was undisciplined as far as judging the descent path -- which ended up requiring a slip to correct. Perhaps his concern was that at that point, your class 4 candidate should have had the developed skills/judgement to demostrate an "ideal" normal approach and landing for instructional purposes? Given the conditions that day, perhaps the high approach could have been easily prevented by pulling back a bit more power, or not turning in so early? Slipping shouldn't be used as a crutch for errors in judgement on the approach that end up making the aircraft way too high.

You mentioned all the loopholes the examiner supposedly jumped through -- but these are real barriers to entry for someone unqualified. I know a lot of people here air their grievences about examiners but they are pilots too, and they may simply have a different vantage point and experience related to items like this one.

Then again, I wasn't debriefed like you were, and I do very much think being able to slip and teach slips is important.
---------- ADS -----------
  

iflyforpie
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 7975
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:25 pm
Location: Winterfell...

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by iflyforpie »

:prayer:
gaamin wrote: Putting the aircraft into and out of a slip is very quick, changes drag a lot but doesn't impact lift so much.
If hitting a strong downdraft after slipping during the updraft, one can just get out of a slip and if necessary add a small amount of power. On the other hand, if using full flaps to get down during the updraft, when hitting the downdraft retracting flaps would reduce one's Angle of Attack, and in a Cessna would take a fair amount of time, probably requiring a very substantial increase in power during that time, and adjustment while the flaps come up.
:prayer:

Yes, slips are like spoilers or speed brakes. You can turn them on and off in a second or two and as soon as they are off the aircraft is still flying as it was before.

That being said, like spoilers or speedbrakes the excessive use slips can be a sign of poor planning. Slips for the purpose of losing altitude should be to maintain or correct a proper approach, not turn a poor approach into a good one.
---------- ADS -----------
  
Geez did I say that....? Or just think it....?

User avatar
Expat
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2383
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:58 am
Location: Central Asia

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by Expat »

The way I look at it, is by the time someone gets his CPl, he should know the basic maneuvers and use them instinctively.
I would say it should become instinctive, like stopping a car on the white line, at a traffic light. You may be going downhill, in rain or snow, but it becomes just a reflex to do it.
The same applies to flying. Before even seing the windsock, you know about the wind, and you should line up the plane, and aim for the numbers, without even thinking that you are doing a crab, or forward slip. All you need is a glance at the airspeed, and the rest is seat of the pants, and learned reflexes.
Throttle,flaps, pedals, and yoke all move instinctively...
That is how I fly anyway... :smt040
---------- ADS -----------
  
Success in life is when the cognac that you drink is older than the women you drink it with.

User avatar
Shiny Side Up
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 5335
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:02 pm
Location: Group W bench

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by Shiny Side Up »

Then again, I wasn't debriefed like you were, and I do very much think being able to slip and teach slips is important.
I guess you had to be there. If indeed that the test candidate had done a poorly planned approach as a demo, why weren't they failed on that? When I challenged the examiner on his verdict, his reasoning was a very simple "I don't think slips are safe manuvers for private pilot level students". Despite his opinion, he was reluctant to hold it against the student in terms of his actual grade, nor would he put the critisism down in writing when I asked for it. I should note that the slip wasn't the only thing on the test he was very vocal about that instructors should be doing differently, yet again refused to put it on record.

You mentioned all the loopholes the examiner supposedly jumped through -- but these are real barriers to entry for someone unqualified.
I'm getting less and less sure of that. There's becomming a lot of bad eggs in that basket which is supposed to be our quality control at Transport.
---------- ADS -----------
  
We can't stop here! This is BAT country!

Big Pistons Forever
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 5154
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 7:17 pm
Location: West Coast

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by Big Pistons Forever »

The actions of the C 172 pilot are IMO, an example of the what I think is the number 1 problem in CPL training. Instructors are not demanding good basic stick and rudder skills. I am personally distressed at how many newly minted CPL's, chase the airspeed, don't have the aircraft in trim, land off the center line at what ever point along the runway they happen to be when the aircraft runs out of airspeed etc etc.

I ride CPL's like a cheap Ho. They get really tired of me saying "it is just as easy to fly at 3000 feet as it is to fly at 3031 feet". Chase the airspeed and I just cover it up, from start up to shut down if necessary. This ultimately has nothing to do with TC, flight test standards or the CPL course outline. It is something that us instructors can collectively decide to make a priority.......
---------- ADS -----------
  

AEROBAT
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 554
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:27 am

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by AEROBAT »

The guy is obviously a half-wit to make a statement like that, saying slips are unsafe manouvers for private pilot students. Lots of planes don't have flaps or even stall horns.

What part of Canada did this happen in?
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Expat
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2383
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:58 am
Location: Central Asia

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by Expat »

Big Pistons Forever wrote:The actions of the C 172 pilot are IMO, an example of the what I think is the number 1 problem in CPL training. Instructors are not demanding good basic stick and rudder skills. I am personally distressed at how many newly minted CPL's, chase the airspeed, don't have the aircraft in trim, land off the center line at what ever point along the runway they happen to be when the aircraft runs out of airspeed etc etc.

I ride CPL's like a cheap Ho. They get really tired of me saying "it is just as easy to fly at 3000 feet as it is to fly at 3031 feet". Chase the airspeed and I just cover it up, from start up to shut down if necessary. This ultimately has nothing to do with TC, flight test standards or the CPL course outline. It is something that us instructors can collectively decide to make a priority.......
Funny you say that! I did the CPL ride with more post-its on the panel, than I wanted... Airspeed was the first one blocked, then RPMs, then the last circuit was without even altimeter... It was day, though...easy... :smt040
---------- ADS -----------
  
Success in life is when the cognac that you drink is older than the women you drink it with.

2R
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 4075
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 2:25 pm
Location: left coast

Re: Too Much Crosswind For A Fully-Loaded 172!

Post by 2R »

The biggest crosswind i have experienced in a 172 and landed without any concern was 50 knots in St.George,Utah.
They came out to watch a crazy canuck crash.What they got was a free lesson on a perfect x-wind landing :)
The biggest wind straight down the tube was 70 knots in Courtenay in the 172.Crossed the fence at 120 in the 172 in an attempt to control the attitude for landing.Did i mention that Courtenay is not that long 1800 ft.With the right wind a 172 can be safely landed in about 150 feet.
The scariest crosswinds are never the constant blow ,it is the gusts that will challenge you.As the gusts will steal your lift and make attitude control difficult.Adding a gust factor of about half the gust helps maintain effective control.Although when it is blowing hard you may just have to fly it on at cruise speed and hope that some people are their to help walk the wings in off the runway so it does not flip over in the gusts.
A small gusting crosswind can catch a fella napping.I always watch out for the nasty little choppy gusts that are more dangerous than big constant cross-winds.
What is that thing they call wind shear again, i think i flew through some in the Bow Valley late one afternoon.Thinking about it makes me want to go to the bathroom for some reason.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Post Reply

Return to “Flight Training”