Nailing that Landing — Pro advice for dealing with wind and setup

Nailing that Landing — Pro advice for dealing with wind and setup

Since the early days of RC flying, pilots have been giving landing advice, particularly if there is any sort of wind involved. However, some have recently been getting it backward when they state that during a normal landing, the ailerons should be used to keep the wings level and the rudder should be used to steer the plane as it approaches the runway. Trying to correct deviations greater than a few degrees with the rudder has, in fact, led to hundreds of full-scale fatalities and countless crashed models over the years. While this misplaced advice might be “good for business” for some (it leads to more replacement fuselages and airplanes being sold), it’s extremely wasteful and largely avoidable with proper instruction.

insetWhen listening to sport fliers, it’s obvious that the over-emphasis on rudder during landing is due to the assumption that expert pilots use rudder a lot in general, especially to counter wind during aerobatics. Since a landing in wind supposedly requires more skill, the belief is that the key to good landings must lie in mastering the rudder like the pros.

MODEL AIRPLANE NEWS PREMIUM members can access this article and many others highlighting amazing techniques, RC airplane builds and projects. When you become a member, you’ll get instant online access to our back-issue archives, the latest Model Airplane News Digital Editions, all of our newsstand-only special issues, and much more.

Membership includes exclusive access to our enormous collection of RC information.

  • 7+ years of digital editions of Model Airplane News
  • Flight Journal and Model Airplane News special issue digital editions, previously only available on newsstands
  • Free access to our magazine app through the iTunes Store – get Model Airplane News on your mobile or tablet device
  • Contests & giveaways only for members
  • 30 years of Model Airplane News archives
  • 10 years of Electric Flight archives
  • 5% off ALL Air Age Store purchases every time you shop


  1. Hello Gerry
    Thanks for using my Snj for your article. It’s a Yellow Aircraft t6 built about 8 years ago. Love it, it flies great
    Powered with a G62. Too bad Yellow went out of business they made great kits.
    Yes When I fly it especially in a cross wind I use aileron to correct directional control to keep it centered on the the
    Runway, never had a problem with cross wind landings. Once wheels touch down than rudder is used to keep it
    Tracking straight, very important because Snj’s and T6’s were prone to ground loop out of control and so does the

  2. Article was actually written by Dave Scott, dba, 1st US RC Flight School

Comments are closed.

Air Age Media © 2022
WordPress Lightbox