Monday, February 9, 2009

Lift-Off - Crosswind Takeoff

As the nosewheel is being raised off the runway, the
holding of aileron control into the wind may result in

the downwind wing rising and the downwind main
wheel lifting off the runway first, with the remainder
of the takeoff roll being made on that one main wheel.
This is acceptable and is preferable to side-skipping.

If a significant crosswind exists, the main wheels
should be held on the ground slightly longer than in a
normal takeoff so that a smooth but very definite liftoff can be made. This procedure will allow the airplane to leave the ground under more positive control
so that it will definitely remain airborne while the
proper amount of wind correction is being established.
More importantly, this procedure will avoid imposing
excessive side-loads on the landing gear and prevent
possible damage that would result from the airplane
settling back to the runway while drifting.

As both main wheels leave the runway and ground
friction no longer resists drifting, the airplane will be
slowly carried sideways with the wind unless adequate
drift correction is maintained by the pilot. Therefore, it
is important to establish and maintain the proper
amount of crosswind correction prior to lift-off by
applying aileron pressure toward the wind to keep the
upwind wing from rising and applying rudder pressure
as needed to prevent weathervaning.

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