Learning how to land in a crosswind is one of those skills that’s hard to teach on a schedule, since you never know when the sideways winds will blow. With Redbird Flight Simulation’s XWind ($27,900) and XWind SE ($29,900) crosswind trainers, however, instructors can schedule crosswind training to fit the student’s schedule.
The two trainers — the SE has visual displays and a self-grading feature — allow the student or instructor to set up the crosswind parameters, including direction and windspeed, as well as adding in gusts. The pilot then flies the landing approach making use of the ailerons to stop the machine’s drift along the rails and rudder to keep the nose pointed in the right direction, just as in the real airplane.
A perfect score is one in which there’s no drift and the nosewheel touches on the centerline. It sounds easy, but it’s not. It sounds like fun, and it is.