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Crosswind landings and rudder usage

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Hi all,i have yet to master those really tough crosswind landings. Uh - not so easy task. I have most difficulties with the rudder control (keyboard). I usually fly spledid dash-7 and erj-145 planes. I don't have any previous background information for the proper usage of the rudder. In the crosswind situations, i usually approach so that i point the nose of the plane to the upwind side of the runway (=kill the drifting effect). And just before touchdown (usually 20-40 ft above the runway) i -try- to straighten the plane to the direction of the runway. This is actually the tricky part: i usually use the rudder trim for the final straightening of the plane, but for my annoyance, the "center ailerons and rudders" (F5) doesn't seem to affect to rudder trim at all. Because of that, i usually start succesfully turning in the direction of the runway and then well over that straight point (F5 should be nice working here), and then overshoot too far on the other side, if i'm still airborne. (Then there might be some opposite effort to fix that overshooting - usually by then the circus performance is ready!)Then there's yaw left and right(rudder) controls, but using those to straighten the plane is too slow, the aircraft turns about 0.25 degree per second at the maximum rudder setting, even if i'm flying near the stalling speed. "Center ailerons and rudders" (F5) key seems to affect that control ok, eg. centering rudder. Hmmm. So my problem is, that the yaw rudder is too slow for me and if using rudder trim can't center the rudder easily or know in what on state that setting at the moment is. Hmmm, hmmm. Should the "vertical-flap-looking-part" on the tail of the plane be the rudder? If it is what i'm looking for, should it be animated (moving) when looking the plane from outside. Don't see any movement there at all when using either type of rudder for example in the default cesna... Hehe - (-: feeling myself quite stupid now! Any strategies, stories or suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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Rudder trim is not the way to do it IMHO. Don't know how it's done with heavies, but I think the theory is the same. If rudder trim is the way, please ignore the following.In brief, there are 3 accepted ways of handling a crosswind landing.1. CrabYou crab into the wind (as you are doing by pointing the aircraft into the upwind side of the runway). Just before you land, you need to straighten up, and this is very tricky. As you need to do 3 things at the same time:a) straighten the plane by kicking the rudder in the direction you want to straighten. Don't understand why this is too slow for you (are using the keyboard keys?), if so - get a joystick at least.:( if you leave it at that, the plane will drift with the wind to the otherside of the run way (or worse :-)), so you need to dip the wing slightly in the direction of the wind to counter the wind drift.c) remember to flare :-).I personally find this all too much :-), but hey, it looks great when you get it right. So onto 2.2. Wing DownInstead of crabbing you approach the landing when on final using the combination of a) and :( above. You're flying slow, so you need quite a bit of rudder, but not too much wing down to accomplish this. As you start this on final, you have far more time to get this right, than in 1 above. When it comes to landing, keep it as it is.... and yes it means that you do land on 1 wheel - momentarily, until the other one follows soon after. This is an accepted crosswind landing approach and my prefered option. It's a lot of fun too.3. Combination Crab and Wing DownThis is probably more for real flying. the problem with Wing Down is that it is "cross controlled", (rudder and aileron pointing in the wrong directions), which means that the plane is oout of balance and your passengers may get sick :-). So this option brings you to late finals in the crab, then you switch to wing down, and sensibly sort your self out before you land. Personally it is still too much for me to think about so I don't do it, and your virtual passengers won't get sick with 2 anyway :-).Hope this helps.Richard

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Yes the vertical thingy is the rudder. I see movement with the numlock off, using the 0 key or enter key on the numeric keypad, but no movement with trim.Hope this helps.

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My suggestion would be to get yourself a decent rudder control, whether it be a twist-grip stick, or a set of rudder pedals. If you can't afford a commercial set of pedals, you can build a set for about $30 USD.A good rudder control won't make the crosswind landings easier, persay, but it will take away the "trickiness" of using the keyboard. And it's a whole lot more fun to boot.As for flying, I practice a lot of new techniques in something small first, like the Cessna 172 or 182, then move up to something faster, like the Baron, before trying it in a jet.

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Thanks all!Have to try different methods, that wing down really seems an interesting alternative! The co-operation between my keyboard (yes - it's also made by microsoft ;-) ) and the FS2002's "rudder simulation part" doesn't seem to "shine" at all. (Otherwise i love microsoft for this game!)I reseted my keyboard mappings. For testing, i was flying default cessna 55-65 kts in a calm weather... I'm still not confident how keyboard controlled rudder should work, now the yaw left/right (Num 0 + Num Enter) still only turns cessna 172 somewhat 0.25 degree per second - or less. The rudder trim left / right on the other hand instantly swings my plane several degrees per second (and then forcing the plane into a medium roll)... Yaw rudder (num 0 + enter) worked on the ground well, turning the plane on the runway, but in the air - nada - Didn't see any visible rudder movement either on the air. Heck, probably have to reinstall the game! Well, as you suggested, have to think also about investing some bucks into a decent controllers too, if one want to get serious with this...

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Basically, keep it crabbed until the flare, then kick it out with rudder. Use opposite aileron if necessary to keep yourself from banking. In smaller planes (Cessnas etc) we usually start slipping at the threshold. It's the same as what you're doing in the flare, they're both slips, just started at different heights. :-)

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Hey HomerJ, I haven't seen this mentioned so I'll say it. In order for any of these schemes to work you must have "Auto-coordination" disabled. I think that you'll find that in the Aircraft menu under the Reality settings. If there's a check mark in that box, remove it. If I'm wrong and someone else has mentioned this, I apologize. R-

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I remember my first flight simming time, with Flight Unlimited II and flying with the keyboard :-lolFlying in calm weather works OK with the keyboard. The only hard part is the landing, it's not easy to flare with the keyboard.Also you never feel like you're fully in control.Crosswind landing is just not possible to do well with the keyboard. There are too many things you need to do at the same time, and you need more precision than you can get by tapping keys on a keyboard.A good, cheap joystick if you want to get started, is the Logitech Extreme Digial 3D or the Microsoft Sidewinder series. I really recommend a joystick with a twist-grip for rudder control. It's not as good as rudder pedals, but it certainly is much better than using the keyboard for rudder.

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Homer:Bob an Richard are right on here. Crab, slip(the technical term for "wing down"), or a combination of them both, you really have to have rudder pedals to develop the right timing and feel for when to straighten out before your mains touch, otherwise you risk tearing them off. Some planes are quite forgiving here though, like the 747's. And I agree, start with something slow and basic, any fixed-gear single will do, and when it becomes easy move up, progressively to faster, heavier aircraft. Practice, practice, practice...Good Luck!Alex ChristoffN562ZMinneapolis, MNThermobulb@aol.com

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I use the sidewinder precision Pro. It took me countless hours of practice with the cessna to get the slip done properly. The thing is that when you do a co-ordinated turn...say to the left...you push the joystick left, and twist left. Push for ailerons and twist for rudder. However with the slip you will have to push one way and twist in the OPPOSITE direction.....which is really really confusing at first. So like everything else, you need to really practice it.Having said all this I think most people will agree that probably the greatest "rush" you get from FlightSimming is having done a successful, nearly perfect, or perfect Crosswind Landing. IMHO there's no greater joy than that....especially to terminate a long flight.Lagaz.

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Thanks for really good instructions guys!One thing still about the rudder, have anybody to give a rough estimate what is the maximum turning rate (nose shifting degrees / sec) when you use yaw rudder (keyboard: num 0 / num enter)? Does the plane go into a roll when you use that? How long does the plane keep turning?Then there's rudder trim (keyboard: CTRL + num 0 / CTRL + num enter). It turns plane fast (with roll-effect, that can be compensated by opposite aileron control). I could use that for now if i only could easily reset that trim setting at the hot spot, but Num 5 doesn't affect on that control, it affects only the yaw control.I actually found autorudder setting (thanks for hint RonB) and disabled it but still no effect to improve the yaw rudder turning rate, max 4 degrees into a one direction at rate 0.25 degrees per second, so i can yaw the cessna's nose only 4 degrees, very slowly.I'm starting to suspect, that somekind of virtual rats have chewed my control surfaces into a bad condition... :-eekBTW- Does anybody actually know the difference between these two rudder-types? And what thingies moves into where?D'oh! :-doh This is a nasty one (at least for me), i'm certainly going to upgrade my gaming controls soon, but would appreciate the information what kind of (max) effect the rudder usage has on the plane, just to know what to expect... thanks again!

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The other alternative is to just keep your drift angle on until touchdown !!That's how we do it on the RW jets....As the mains touchdown, lower the nose whilst applying into wind aileron....voila! GREASER !!!!Cheers

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Homer:I'm sure other people have there favorite places, but a good place to practice crosswind approaches using real weather through the simulator downloads or better yet, FSMeteo, is Duluth International, KDLH in Minnesota. I routinely encounter 15 knot crosswinds with gusts in the low to mid twenties on my frequent flights from Minneapolis-St. Paul (KMSP). This makes it a favorite place to work on hand-flying the airliners, and with a long runway, you can fly anything you want into Duluth. You can even start there and fly the pattern, which will also be a challenge in terms of maintaining a consistent ground track with the gusty winds. Plus, most of the time visibilities are poor, frequently below 1000 ft, which should keep you alert, interested, and perhaps a bit white-knuckled, during your approach. Have Fun,Alex ChristoffN562ZMinneapolis, MNThermobulb@aol.com

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I suppose that would work, but it would be kinda rough on the pax, not to mention you'd need to correct the angle quickly so you don't run off the runway, although that would probably be an extreme case if that happened.

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