# AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 9AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 9

 Volume 4, Issue 9 • February 27, 2004 In this issue: Online meeting on charity/sightseeing rule begins Flight school promotes 'real-world' multi program AOPA helps defend flight-training suit

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 Training Tips CALCULATING THE CROSSWIND COMPONENT Practiced enough crosswind landings? Think again. Sharpening crosswind skills-the subject of this newsletter's Training Tips on December 28, 2001 and again on March 7, 2003-is always beneficial because winds are ever-changing. Your flight instructor will introduce and rigorously drill you on crosswind technique; later, she will specify a maximum crosswind component (in knots) as one limitation for your solo flights. Only on occasion does the wind blow directly down the runway (when it has no crosswind component) or perpendicular to it (when the crosswind component equals the wind speed). At other times, you must compute crosswind components on your flight computer, a crosswind chart, or an online flight-data calculator. Suppose a pilot is landing on Runway 33 (magnetic bearing 330 degrees) with reported surface winds of 290 degrees (40 degrees off the runway bearing) at 15 kt. The crosswind component is 10 kt. In other words, on Runway 33 there is as much crosswind with a wind direction/speed of 290/15 as there would be with a direct 10-kt crosswind (the combination 240/10). But note an important difference: The "headwind" component of 290/15 is 12 kt; at 240/10 it is zero. The aircraft's groundspeed when landing is 12 kt lower when the wind is 290/15. Suppose the wind shifts to 300/16: The crosswind component drops to 8 kt! This illustrates a rule of thumb for estimating crosswind components: "If the wind is 30 degrees off the nose, the crosswind component is half the wind speed. If the wind is 50 degrees off, the crosswind component is roughly 75 percent of the wind speed. For 70 degrees, the crosswind component is about 90 percent of the wind speed," wrote Robert N. Rossier in the December 1997 Flight Training column, "Flying Smart: Crosswind Landings." Another number to know is the aircraft's "maximum demonstrated crosswind velocity." One manufacturer defines this as "the velocity of the crosswind component of which adequate control of the airplane during takeoff and landing was actually demonstrated during certification tests." Although it is not an operating limitation, it deserves your respect; new pilots and especially students should not try to test it. Find out how to determine this value for some pre-1975 aircraft in the July 2000 AOPA Flight Training article "Charting the Wind," by AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg. In "Wx Watch: Working the Wind" in the March 2001 AOPA Pilot, Thomas A. Horne exhorts all pilots to stay sharp through practice. Like so many other things in aviation, hard work here will provide benefits beyond measure.
 Your Partner in Training In the world of aviation weather abbreviations and acronyms, pilot reports of weather conditions are known as "pireps." Pireps not only assist other pilots with their go/no-go decisions, they confirm or contradict the weather forecast. Meteorologists may amend the forecast as necessary, based on the pireps they receive. Ask for reports during preflight briefings. If you're uncomfortable making pilot reports, or haven't learned how, check out the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's free SkySpotter online course. Do you have a question? Call our experienced pilots--available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern toll-free at 800/872-2672. As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. For login information, click here.