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    G109 - Crosswinds from the Right.

    Ethan Graham

    Abstract:  Discussion thread about crosswind landings from the right.

    Subject: G109A - avoid crosswinds from right?
    From: "davidg4irq" <d.bobbett@
    Date: 1/3/12 5:26 PM
    To: G109_Pilots@yahoogroups.com

    I'm just starting the conversion required to add a TMG rating to my UK PPL, so I've been trawling the web for info on the 109A.

    Most of the info I have come across (avoid wet wings etc) made sense, but this extract from the 'Grob Handling Notes' page of the Australian Byron Gliding Club has got me puzzled. It relates to the 'A version of the 109.

    Crosswinds - left crosswind takeoff only ...
    ... Right crosswind is always to be avoided"

    Is this advice being overly cautious, or is the combination of low power, lack of differential braking, a non-steerable tailwheel and poor rudder authority really that bad? I'd be very interested to hear from 109A pilots regarding the above.

    FYI my flying has been mainly PA28-161 so far, with a light peppering of flights in TMGs (Vigilants, Ventures and a Korff 130 turbo).

    Happy New Year to all on the group,

    David Bobbett, Hinton-in-the-Hegdges Airfield, England.

    Subject: Re: [G109_Pilots] G109A - avoid crosswinds from right?
    From: Bill Knoll
    Date: 1/3/12 6:19 PM
    To: "G109_Pilots@yahoogroups.com" <G109_Pilots@yahoogroups.com>

    " ....or is the combination of low power, lack of differential braking, a non-steerable tailwheel and poor rudder authority really that bad?"

    Yes. Add to that the fact that the brakes come on at full rudder application, and it's a no-go.

    That said, when I received my check-out in the G-109, JP Ducos (the CFIG) showed me a little trick as long as the crosswind is slight. As you are gaining flying speed, pick up the right wing and roll on just the left wheel until you reach liftoff speed. This wants to turn the aircraft to the left (good). DO NOT TRY THIS WITHOUT HAVING A PROFICIENT INSTRUCTOR DEMONSTRATE THE PROCEDURE FIRST. And make sure you have a wide runway; dragging a wingtip is possibility. I am in no way recommending that you go invent a procedure based on a couple of sentences I have written. I personally don't use the procedure. I either wait, use a different runway, or drive a car home.

    Subject: Re: [G109_Pilots] G109A - avoid crosswinds from right?
    From: Richard Pearl
    Date: 1/3/12 6:52 PM
    To: G109_Pilots@yahoogroups.com

    Yes, there are some issues with a right X-W for the G109, and for the reasons they state: low power, poor rudder authority with the additional disadvantage of engaging the brake at the end of the rudder travel, and the prop turn pulling the ship to the right. There was some discussion on this in earlier threads (600 series). My personal technique for a right cross wind is to angle to the left at the starting roll and let it weathervane around, giving me some time to get momentum going.


    From: "jb92563" <jb92563@gpJ1CU3jrxxP2c-iPQX1zReG9SzosdtoLWO7UNBXrVudQ1Qh7q4gv4K_8vJyyCzQC-r8LwllZQ.yahoo.invalid>
    Date: 1/4/12 9:44 AM
    To: G109_Pilots@yahoogroups.com

    I can confirm that at 12kts of 90 deg x-wind you end up hard on the rudder which of course applies the brake and speed is lost resulting in an aborted takeoff.

    I also like using the technique where your takeoff roll is a large curved arc on wide runways starting on the upwind side of the runway and angled towards the downwind side.

    As you start to weather vane you usually get airborne before running out of rudder and works up to 15 kts in my experience.

    Beyond that you need a different runway or wait for the winds to clock around to a better heading.


    Subject: Re: [G109_Pilots] G109A - avoid crosswinds from right?
    From: Nils Rostedt
    Date: 1/4/12 12:31 AM
    To: G109_Pilots@yahoogroups.com

    An additional issue mentioned in an earlier post was the asymmetric hinging of the rudder, which exposes more rudder area to the right than to the left, slightly limiting left rudder authority.
    Then we have the tailwheel lock issue. On many G109's the original spring-loaded mechanism which connects the tailwheel to the rudder is worn out and the tailwheel is in effect free turning, making crosswind handling more difficult.
    A third issue is common to all airplanes but the effect is perhaps more noticeable in taildraggers. The wind tends to turn clockwise during the gusts compared to the steady state wind direction (at least in the northern hemisphere). So if the crosswind is from the right, the crosswind angle increases in the gusts and makes the situation more difficult, while if the crosswind is from the left the wind direction becomes more head-on in the gusts, making the situation easier. "Learn to love left crosswind" is an old flyer's saying.
    In my limited experience the handling is most difficult on short and/or narrow runways. On a large runway you have some sideways margin and may even use a little left brake for steering until the speed builds up and gives enough rudder authority so that the tailwheel can be raised. But this obviously lengthens the takeoff roll so make sure you have runway enough.

    Subject: Re: [G109_Pilots] Re: G109A - avoid crosswinds from right?
    From: "Ackerman Capt. Ron" <ronackerman@kQqgGoakSMHvFDngUjfbxEdGLTSnqaDlv-KMRlmX-EM3VAUtfy8bbQ7Ha6X9qlulwyeO_7scIEoQUIp78iD629c.yahoo.invalid>
    Date: 1/4/12 9:47 AM
    To: G109_Pilots@yahoogroups.com

    On the 109B, we have a crosswind limit of 11K. I have exceeded this and ended up taking off from the runway followed by a short stint in the grass along side the runway, then lifting off from the adjacent taxiway. It also happened to be a right crosswind. I don't do that anymore!

    Capt. Ron


    Subject: Re: [G109_Pilots] Re: G109A - avoid crosswinds from right?
    From: Bill Knoll
    Date: 1/4/12 10:48 AM
    To: "G109_Pilots@yahoogroups.com" <G109_Pilots@yahoogroups.com>

    I've had that happen too, and I don't do it anymore either.

    On Jan 4, 2012, at 11:26 AM, williamberson wrote:


    Two degrees left engine thrust line offset might help.
    I may try this some day.

    Most of my home field (0S9) takeoffs come with a right crosswind. Up to 8 kts is usually OK with the wide runway and various correction techniques.
    Bill Berson


    Subject: Re: G109A - avoid crosswinds from right?
    From: "davidg4irq" 
    Date: 1/4/12 6:23 AM
    To: G109_Pilots@yahoogroups.com

    Thanks for all the informative replies chaps!

    A pal of mine is a 1500hr 109B (Vigilant) instructor and the 'No RH Xwind' doesn't seem to be an issue on that variant. I think I'll run the Byron Gliding notes past my own instructor next time around - he's also ex Vigilant so the 'A' handling issues may be new to him.

    All the best and thanks again,


    Subject: Re: G109A - avoid crosswinds from right?
    From: "tonebox" <tonebox
    Date: 1/22/12 5:25 PM
    To: G109_Pilots@yahoogroups.com

    After having my own trouble with a right crosswind which resulted in a prop strike and tour of the dirt beside the runway, I heard about a technique for taking off in strong right crosswinds from Thierry Maioli a ex-G109A owner.

    Warning, this may help you successfully take off (or land?) in crosswinds, but it's dangerous, difficult and potentially fatal.

    The trick is simply to keep the tail down iwth full up elevator, and use the tailwheel's tracking indents to keep the tail aligned with the runway. Then, when the motorglider takes off, quickly adjust to keep the aircraft in ground effect without letting ANYTHING touch the ground.

    Note, the indents wear out over time, and any little bump that causes the tailwheel to rotate freely before you have reached flying speed is almost guaranteed to treat you to a visit of the ditch.

    For completeness, I have not tried the above technique, I don't know if it really works, but it seems worth discussing.

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