So I was perusing one of my favorite blogs (that of writer and amateur pilot James Fallows) and he posted this video, which I found pretty remarkable. But what I found even more remarkable was the linked posting about this "crab into crosswind" technique on a professional pilots website:
We must remember that the Airbus Flight Control system is based on "rate inputs". The wing will always look at the last bank angle and will try to return to that point, you may not see the input by the flight controls, but it is being provided. So, if you are rocking down on final due to gusty winds, or for that reason on the final portion of the flare. Should you apply correction in the opposite direction of where the wing is coming up, because of the gust, then you are adding more input to the Flight Controls computer's, reacting to bring the wing to the last known position with a bigger input increment (you have just Augmented that input), which will then force you to react in the opposite direction with more sidestick deflection. Hence, the feeling that you are running out of control deflections in the sidestick, you are just inducing a P-CIO (Pilot-Computer Induced Oscillations).
If you were to have a direct right crosswind of 29 knots, fly the aircraft, don't mind the gust (unless it is hurricane David), around 50 feet, start kicking your left rudder (and power as necessary), and as the left wing tries to come up (due to the Aerodynamics of the rudder inputs attempting to bring the right wing up), put the necessary right joystick (squirts) input and let go, squirt and let go, as necessary to keep the nose of the aircraft tracking down the centerline while adding rudder as necessary, then once the aircraft is tracking where you want him to, relax the bank inputs on the joystick, just work with the pitch for the flare and round out.
Touch down with the right main gear, right spoilers deflect, fly the left wing down nice and easy, while relaxing ruder input and squirting the bank inputs as needed. It is exhilarating and a great aircraft.Of course, these are very experienced, well-paid pilots talking to one another about technique. Senior medicinal chemists talking about fragment-based drug discovery or very experienced process chemists chatting amongst themselves presumably would sound the same.
Or would they? One doubts that very senior chemists would actually be the ones injecting the reagents, pumping the solvents or running the NMRs. Why does it seem that bench technique is mostly left to those who have less than 20 years at the bench, while passenger jet flying, in particular, is in the province of people have hair color similar to Chesley Sullenberger?
Certainly airline union seniority rules have some part to play in this. I'd argue that bench chemistry (and perhaps molecular biology techniques even more so) rely on enough fine motor dexterity that the aged might hold a disadvantage. Perhaps it is that flying (like surgery) is special; patients and the flying public are willing to pay for the best, most experienced hands to be at the helm.
Readers, have an opinion on this?