Pilot's Tip of the Week
Landing at Unfamiliar Airfields
Featuring Bob Martens
"How should we approach landings at a strange field with no wind socks if we suspect a crosswind might exist?" - Anon.
"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.
What 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."