Crosswind landings in general aviation: A modified method of reporting wind information to the pilot

Matt Ebbatson, Don Harris, Steve Jarvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Crosswind conditions are a contributory factor in many general aviation landing incidents and accidents. In an online survey, it was observed that 98% of respondents either failed to or could not accurately calculate the runway crosswind component from air traffic control (ATC) reports passed using the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard phraseology; the majority of pilots also severely underestimated the crosswind strength. Furthermore, nearly 30% of these respondents could not recall or inaccurately recalled the crosswind limit of their aircraft. In a 2nd study using a series of approach and landing trials in a general aviation simulator, wind reports were passed to participants using either the standard ICAO format or in a modified format, where the runway crosswind component was explicitly stated. The results showed that for the group receiving wind reports in the standard format, the mental arithmetic associated with calculating the runway crosswind impaired flying performance. As with the online survey, these calculations were also performed poorly. These results suggest that ATC reports on the approach should be amended to specifically include the runway crosswind component and that all aircraft should have their crosswind limit clearly indicated in the cockpit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-370
Number of pages18
JournalThe International Journal of Aviation Psychology
Issue number4
Early online date5 Dec 2007
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Psychology


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