To: (Separate email addresses with commas)
From: (Your email address)
Message: (Optional)



Crosswind Takeoff: Pass or Fail?

Piper Warrior Armchair Aviator / Flickr

If you were giving a check ride and the applicant allowed a fuel imbalance to affect their takeoff, should they pass or fail? Read the scenario and vote below!

Check Ride:

Private Pilot


Piper PA-28 Warrior

Your Task:

Should the applicant pass or fail? Read the scenario below, then vote at the bottom of the post.


The applicant easily passes the ground portion of the private pilot check ride and you head out on the flight. He satisfactorily completes the cross country, ground reference and upper-air maneuvers, as well as emergency procedures, only occasionally deviating from tolerances and always promptly correcting. You return to the home airport to complete takeoffs and landings and finish the ride.

Throughout the flight, the applicant never switches fuel tanks, always burning from the right wing tank. After 1.3 hours, the fuel has become considerably imbalanced - though not dangerously. The aircraft's fuel is still safely within limits.

You approach for a landing with a crosswind from the right, and the applicant struggles to stop the drift. Throughout the approach, the left wing keeps dropping - most likely because the applicant isn't correcting for the imbalance and the left wing's heaviness. However, the applicant touches down without any drift and stops on centerline.

You taxi back to the numbers and the applicant configures for a crosswind takeoff. He starts the takeoff roll with ailerons fully deflected to the right - into the wind. As airspeed increases, he decreases aileron deflection. However, the upwind wheel still lifts off early.

The aircraft climbs off the runway while drifting significantly downwind, and is well left of the runway by the time the student turns crosswind. Throughout the maneuver, the student doesn't seem to realize that the fuel imbalance is causing the heavy left wing, and the fuel selector is still feeding from the right tank.

What would you do? Does the takeoff meet standards or should the applicant fail? Vote below, and tell us your thoughts in the comments!

  • Pass


  • Fail


View The Results

Images Courtesy:

Recommended Stories

Latest Stories

    Load More
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email