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Encyclopedia > Crab landing

A crab landing is method of landing an airplane in a crosswind.


A landing with a strong crosswind is one of the most technically difficult and dangerous maneuvers in aviation, and the crab-landing technique combined with elements of other techniques is widely considered one of the best ways of handling such a situation. In a crab landing, the plane flies along the center of the runway during approach. In order to maintain its position over the center, the nose is pointed off-center, slightly into the wind. Thus the plane is at an angle to the runway while its velocity is parallel to the runway.


In a traditional crab landing, the plane descends in this manner, and then the pilot yanks the plane around at the last second in order to orient the plane parallel with the runway. This is very tricky to do correctly, and must be timed perfectly—if the pilot turns too soon, the plane will be blown off the runway, but if he turns too late, the landing gear will not be aligned with the runway and he risks seriously damaging or breaking it and possibly crashing the plane. Even if the pilot rotates the plane at the correct moment, the plane will still begin to drift with the wind as soon the crab angle is reduced, so the landing gear will have to absorb some side load on touchdown.


Because of these huge risks, most pilots advocate using crab landing for the majority of the descent, and then changing to the slip technique when at a low altitude over the runway and using that for the rest of the descent. This is often referred to as the 'crab and slip' method.


There are an extremely small number of planes which have a special landing gear which can be rotated with respect to the plane. This enables the crab landing technique to be used throughout the entire descent, without the need to execute the dangerous turn at the very last moment before touchdown. The B-52 Stratofortress is an example of this.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Landing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (428 words)
Landing is the last part of a flight, where a flying animal or aircraft returns to the ground.
Aircraft usually land at an airport on a runway or helicopter landing pad.
To land on an aircraft carrier, an aircraft (moving at, perhaps, 150 mph (240 km/h)) is equipped with tailhooks to engage one of up to four arresting cables stretched across the deck, stopping the aircraft within 320 feet (100 m) after engaging one of the cables.
Crab landing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (369 words)
A landing with a strong crosswind is one of the most technically difficult and dangerous maneuvers in aviation, and the crab-landing technique combined with elements of other techniques is widely considered one of the best ways of handling such a situation.
In a crab landing, the plane flies along the center of the runway during approach.
Because of these huge risks, most pilots advocate using crab landing for the majority of the descent, and then changing to the slip technique when at a low altitude over the runway and using that for the rest of the descent.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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