Chuck Yeager-ism: Fly Your Airplane: Make Your Airplane Go Where you Want it to

August 9th, 2014

When I was getting lessons from a CFI – needed “official” hours from a licensed civilian flight instructor – I never got any crosswind training. I got lots of verbal instruction but we never found good crosswinds on which to practice.

The verbal instructions – had me skiddish.

One CFI said, “Do you realize you just landed with a crosswind? I sat back and you didn’t seem concerned so I let you just do it.”

Well, oddly that the CFI called attention to it, gave me verbal instruction, and defined it, made me skiddish.

On one wheel?


Could flip?


Could ground loop?


And by the way: What is a ground loop?

A BIG flip? (It’s when your plane swings around so it’s going in the opposite direction – sometimes catching a wing tip or prop.


So if there was any crosswind, I didn’t fly.

Finally, I got the word from Chuck Yeager.

“Just fly your airplane.”


“Make your airplane go where you want it to.”

I threw away the mechanical verbal instructions from the CFI’s – if the wind picks up your wing from the left put in left aileron. Well that takes to long to think through, act, and be safe.

Chuck Yeager’s wisdom is for those who know how to do coordinated turns, and have the basics.

I just started flying my airplane, making it go where I wanted it to, and today, I was doing landings in 40 degree, 12 kt crosswinds. And frankly, I didn’t really consciously notice.

I just flew my airplane, made it go where I wanted, landed and…oh.

I’m here.

And then took off again.

I kept it straight for landing and before now, was afraid I might not know what to do if I landed on one wheel. Well, it happened and I just “flew my airplane” and naturally put the wheel down.



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