For what reason might you want to land on the downwind side of a runway, in crosswind conditions?
- jamais! nevair! There is no possible advantage. Like the useless runway behind you, doing so would leave little wiggle room if you forfeited the runway surface on your leeward side, for if, despite your best efforts, the wind blew you off to the side of the runway, you would then already have one wheel almost in the weeds. Not only that, but landing on the windward side of the built-in transverse slope (even though it’s only a degree or three) also confers some small “wing low” advantage into the wind.
- If the runway were wide enough, landing on the leeward side and then following a slight diagonal path towards the windward side, a few hundred feet away, would to a small extent lessen your crosswind component during the critical first seconds before the airplane slowed enough for most of its weight to be transferred from the wings back to the wheels.
- Whenever there is a heavy rain combined with a crosswind, the built-in transverse slope (higher in the middle than on the sides) might actually work against you. The crosswind can cause the water to build up on the windward side, against the runway’s convex slope, and the increased depth on that side could conceivably increase the likelihood of your landing gear to begin hydroplaning.
- During a snowy crosswind, the build-up of possible snow will occur first on the upwind side of the runway. Also, the runway surface is usually less smooth away from the center, and this improves traction.
Answer: C. Choice A of course makes sense in most cases (such as when it isn’t raining heavily). One might also argue for choice B. But choice C is worth remembering when the weather is really lousy. (You might wind up asking yourself again though, why it was that you’d wanted to land there.) Choice D may have some theoretical truth, but it’s mostly irrelevant.
The Amazing Power To Disregard Those Events That Do Not Bode Well
The historic flight of Louis Blériot across the English Channel early in the morning on July 25, 1909 did not begin favorably. Despite having done very well for himself manufacturing acetylene lamps and other accessories for automobiles, like many aviators to follow he had managed to turn a fairly large fortune into a very small one, and was nearly broke by the beginning of that year. Due to a mechanical problem during a previous flight, he had also badly burned his foot, could walk only with the assistance of crutches, and operating his rudder proved painful. In addition, the weather had been poor and there was a waiting game between Blériot and his competition. Blériot ‘s Model XI was puny in comparison, and was powered by an Anzani engine of only 25 horsepower. His wife Alicia did not share his love of flying and had begged him not to go. So, what else could go wrong (and did)?
- While preparing for takeoff, a dog wandered into the arc of his propeller blade and was killed.
- His Anzani 3 cylinder motor overheated.
- Due to weather conditions over the channel during the flight, he could not see either coast for several minutes, and was unsure of his position.
- He had to fight dangerous cliffside gusts near Dover Castle and actually crash-landed when he reached the other side.
Answer: Any and all are correct. (Rain showers cooled the motor, probably enabling him to complete the crossing.) His fortunes did later change for the better, though. Aside from having won the sought-after London Daily Mail prize of 1000 pounds, during the First World War his company produced the famous S.P.A.D. fighter, and “the father of the modern monoplane” also played a role in developing commercial aircraft after the war.
The First American Female Pilot
Who was the first US woman pilot?
- the Baroness Raymonde de la Roche
- Bessie Coleman
- Harriet Quimby
- Katherine Stinson
Answer: C. Harriet Quimby, born in 1875, actually started out as a newspaper writer. She was the first woman to fly across the English Channel, the first woman to fly at night, and (with just the slightest nod toward her gender) she also designed her own flying clothes. During the Harvard-Boston air meet in the summer of 1912, she was flying with a passenger in a Blériot airplane when her passenger made a sudden movement, dipping the wing of the aircraft, and they both fell out of the airplane from 2,000 feet above Boston harbor. (This was before seat belts.) Bessie Coleman was the first black female pilot (and also coincidentally died when she too fell out of an abruptly overturned airplane, in 1926). Katherine Stinson was the sibling of the famous Eddie of Stinson Reliant fame, and the fourth American woman to obtain a pilot’s license. Her Ladyship the Baroness (choice A) was actually the first licensed woman pilot, period (on March 8, 1910). Harriet followed her, though, not long after (August 1, 1911). The Baroness also did not survive very long as an aviator; the Mme. was killed in a flying accident in 1919.