Pilot's Tip of the Week

Landing at Unfamiliar Airfields

Featuring Bob Martens

Subscriber question:

"How should we approach landings at a strange field with no wind socks if we suspect a crosswind might exist?" - Anon.
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"First of all, have we done our planning? If we did we should certainly have a general idea of what winds to expect at our landing site. Validate this information with whatever resources are available to you on ATIS/AWOS, etc.

Crosswind landingWhat was the wind doing to you as you approached the field? What is it doing to the trees, smoke, etc.?

Why not plan on doing a low approach to the field to familiarize yourself with conditions if you are at all unsure?

Most of all fly the airplane! If you fly a precise pattern, you will know how the wind is impacting you and respond accordingly. If at any time you are uncomfortable with conditions, go around.

I hate to be overly simplistic, but we can really treat this landing just as we do all our landings if we're properly prepared."

Next week's tip: Escaping icing - climb or descend?

Scenic VFR Flight Using X-Plane 

Watch this end-to-end VFR flight using X-Plane. The graphics, scenery and realism of the latest software are stunning. See the pilot plan his route and configure the airplane, weather, etc. He uses radios, GPS and ForeFlight like you would in a real plane. This video demonstrates the training benefits you get with a good sim. Watch it here…