Aircraft Controls during X-wind taxiing

Aircraft Controls X-wind Taxiing


Aircraft controls can be tricky when taxiing with crosswinds.  While preparing for the Private pilot knowledge exam, I made this chart to help memorize it.  Depending on where the wind is coming from, you will need to control the planes ailerons and elevator differently.

The ailerons need to be held in a way that prevents wind from getting under a wing and flipping the plane.  Meanwhile the elevators need to be held to keep the plane from tipping forward and damaging the propeller.

We will start with headwinds.  During a headwind, the ailerons need to be UP in the direction of the wind.  In tricycle gear planes, the elevator is NEUTRAL.  In tailwheel planes, the elevator is UP.

Tailwinds require the ailerons to be DOWN in the direction of the wind.  The elevator must be DOWN.  IT should be noted that when taxiing a nosewheel equipped high-wing airplane the most critical wind position is a quartering tailwind because it could lift the tail and push the airplane over on its prop and far wingtip.