Taking off in an airplane is a fairly simple process, especially compared to landing. But this easy task can be filled with danger, especially because of complacency.

“Just throttle up and pull back!”

It might be easy to think of take off this way, but don’t lose your focus because it’s not hard to make a mistake that can pull the tire off the wheel or leave you stuck in the mud at the side of the runway.

Here is a tip for taking off in a crosswind.

  1. Bank your ailerons towards the wind as you start moving and slowly remove this bank until your yoke should be level around the time that you start to pull back and rotate.
  2. Let the plane accelerate 5-10 more knots and then rotate a bit more briskly than usual. This will cause you to break free from the ground quickly. Why does this matter? Because if you rotate gently the aircraft will take more time to transfer its weight from the wheels to the wings, and as the wheels get lighter the crosswind can push you sideways – which can easily pull the tire off the bead of the wheel. Ask me how I know!


My name is Jeff Schaefer and I have been a CFI for 10 years working at a great flight school teaching students to fly. I have flown several aircraft types including about 100 hours in the right seat of a light jet. I am very enthusiastic about flight simulators and the huge effect they can have when training.

I am also a professional software engineer specializing in building full stack web software from scratch.