Crosswind Flying Excitement

Friday evening I got out for an excellent evening of flying getting in four flights, three of which were solid and one of which tested my ability to remain cool and collected, lol.

The planned new experience and knowledge gain from this evening of flying was taking off and landing when their is a crosswind.  In a previous post I mentioned how the runway generally runs North/South and Friday evening the wind was blowing West/East.  During my takeoff, heading South, in order to prevent the plane from tipping over or blowing off course you need to apply some rudder and ailerons (both R in this case) to prevent the plane from veering left and from tipping over due to the crosswind.  During landings you need to ensure you are over far enough on the runway such that while descending the plane doesn’t get blown from above the landing strip, but instead is blown into position.  While descending I used the rudder (applying R rudder again as I was landing pointing South) for course correction to keep the plane pointing down the runway and from getting to far over.  While performing these tasks you still need to do what you would normally during takeoff and landing (i.e. applying up elevator to get off the ground during take off and in order to land on the rear wheels, main gear, while landing).

All in all it was an excellent night of flying in which only a few noticeable events occurred:

  1. During flight my engine cut out due to the temperature change and I was able to remain calm and coast my plane in for a dead stick landing.  Then adjustments were made on the engine to help ensure the appropriate amount of fuel is being provided.
  2. While taxing back to the gate I applied to much throttle and the plane didn’t stop in time so I nosed into the fence, which cut the engine and thankfully did not damage, as I miss calculated how much time it’d take for the plane to slow while taxing.
  3. On a pre-flight check I noticed that when my throttle was at half on the transmitter the plane was actually at full throttle.  Going beyond that was just stressing both the servo and plastic ‘hinge’ for the throttle arm, which is not ideal.  This meant that I was finely controlling the throttle as from 0 to half equated to 0 to full and everything above half was essentially doing nothing but stressing the components.  This was like this from the time it was assembled, not sure why nobody noticed this until I did that evening, but do to the gracious help of Peter and John it has been fixed.  Hoping to get out this evening to see how this changes the feel of the plane!
  4. On my last flight of the day I didn’t compensate enough for the crosswind on landing and though I tried to make corrections at the last minute with my rudder to get back on the runway.  I ended up in the tall grass just off the runway and used the kill switch to kill my engine as quickly as I could to prevent damage (which I thankfully appeared to be successful at!).  This was a different experience as on top of the crosswind the sun was setting, already quite low, changing the visual of the approach and I went by the plane instead of my ground markers causing me to misjudge where the plane was at.

The weather hasn’t cooperated since Friday; however, I am hoping to get out tonight.  Will have to wait and see.

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