Here’s a flight lesson on coordination exercises, a ground-reference maneuver, plus crosswind landings in two flavors—and the good news is that you won’t have to cancel if you can’t go flying.
Anyone with access to pencil and paper, a swiveling chair, and a toy airplane—that is, a downscaled teaching aid—can work on these and other pilot skills in the comfort of home as we wait out the current health-related limitations on our flying.
Yes—sometimes chair flying requires the use of a chair. To illustrate a student pilot’s uncoordinated left turn, I deflected an imaginary yoke to the left while swiveling the chair slightly to the right, which simulated how aileron drag (adverse yaw) required more left rudder to correct. Believe me, it feels as awkward as it looks, just like the real thing. To correct, depress an imaginary left rudder pedal an amount appropriate for the aileron deflection, but this time don’t swivel the chair away from the turn. What you get is a nice, smooth coordinated turn—the kind that won’t wake up a snoozing passenger or irritate a testy flight instructor.
My attempts at napkin-sketched aviation art have yet to win me any awards, but even a crude depiction of a runway finds multiple uses in a ground lesson when used in conjunction with that learning aid that resembles a toy airplane. Fly the scale-model aircraft around that runway’s traffic pattern, correcting your heading for assigned winds. Fly it faster or slower on each pattern leg in recognition of changing groundspeed. Align it on final approach in a crosswind as necessary for a sideslipped or crabbed approach.
For a wing-low crosswind landing, use the model aircraft to demonstrate how a pilot touches down on the upwind main wheel in a pitch attitude reasonable for the windy conditions. You can even show how a bad landing—as if touching down while drifting—imposes nasty side loads on the landing gear.
Vocalizing the bangs, squeaks, chirps, and other sounds aircraft make at the hands of the student pilots who fly them is at your discretion.