When flying downwind?

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  • When flying downwind?


Answer #1 | 18/12 2013 03:42
"Downwind" can mean flying in the same direction as the wind, but it also refers to the portion of a standard rectangular traffic pattern where you are flying parallel to the runway, in the opposite direction from the direction you will be landing. Since planes normally land into the wind, the downwind leg normally has a tailwind, but even with no wind or a crosswind, that portion of the pattern is still the downwind leg. If you are flying VFR and call a control tower to land they may tell you enter a downwind or report downwind for a runway
Answer #2 | 18/12 2013 04:34
Flying" upwind", "into the wind" or "with a headwind" are the same. You are correct in that flying upwind or with a headwind will lower your ground speed. That is the reason for always landing into the wind, it enables the aircraft to continue flying at a lower ground speed making the landing safer as well as easier.
Answer #3 | 18/12 2013 22:18
Upwind and Downwind are terms used when flying landing patterns around airport runways.
Answer #4 | 19/12 2013 01:28
If the aircraft is flying at an airspeed of, say, 100 knots into a 20 knot headwind it's speed over the ground will be 80 knots. If it's flying at an airspeed of 100 knots with a 20 knot tailwind it's speed over the ground will be 120 knots. That's why runways are arranged as far as possible into the wind, so that you take off and land with as little groundspeed as possible. Upwind and downwind are terms usually used in relation to the runway - when you've taken off you will be climbing out in the upwind direction i.e. the direction from which the wind is blowing (in theory). As an example, if I'm doing a circuit I'll take off from the runway as near as possible into the wind, climb straight ahead at the upwind end to 500 ft, then turn 90 degrees (right, in this case) and continue climbing to 1000 ft in what we call the crosswind leg before turning a further 90 degrees right into the downwind leg. By now we're heading in the opposite direction from which we took off. Then at the right point I'll be turning 90 degrees right again into what we call the base leg, and then at the right point again yet another 90 degree right turn onto the final leg. By now we're downwind of the runway and heading into the wind towards it.
Answer #5 | 21/12 2013 15:45
An airport will always attempt to make the direction of landing into the wind to lower the groundspeed for the approach to landing and for take-off. This may not always be possible due to traffic issues or varying crosswind directions. The term 'upwind' is normally only used in the traffic pattern and is usually a beneficial and positive effect in landing and take-off, giving greater lift.
Answer #6 | 20/12 2013 13:00
Not necessarily. Upwind is an aviation term used to describe the portion of the traffic pattern flown after departure on the runway heading. Therefore if you took off with a tailwind component you would be flying upwind with a tailwind.

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