Learn to love the slip

December, 4, 2020 by ,

What is a slip? A slip is a method used in situations where you encounter an environmental obstacle (usually wind) that can occur at any point during your approach, landing and departure. A slip can also be used during an emergency situation by creating a means of rapidly reducing your airspeed.

  • Technical: A slip is a combination of forward movement and sideward movement, where the lateral axis of the plane is being inclined and the sideward movement is being propelled toward the low end of the axis.
  • Basic: You’re flying sideways to force a change resulting in the way which wind is striking your plane.

A wing-low or sideslip approaches and landings are used when landing with a crosswind to maintain the plane aligned with the runway centreline. These approaches and landings are accomplished by lowering your wing a little whilst applying just enough opposite rudder to prevent a turn. The plane’s longitudinal axis remains parallel to the original flight path, but is no longer flying straight ahead.

Brandon is a writer for the IFATC Education Group. He is also a Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and holds a PPL.