Rudder pedal question

Posted on 2013-10-29
Last Modified: 2013-11-01

I hope that someone is able to help. I am sure that I have misread or misunderstood the following question:

"You are commencing your take-off roll on runway 18 with a westerly wind at 15 knots. Ignoring other potential sources of yaw, which rudder pedal do you need to press in order to keep aligned with the runway centre line?

answer: Left rudder pedal"

Now I thought it would be the right rudder pedal.
Looking at the question, I am taking off on runway 18 which is heading south. If there is a westerly wind at 15 knots then this would be coming from the right hand side to the left of the runway. I should point my ailerons to the right because of the wind and also the wind would be trying to push the aircraft to the left side of the runway? Should this not then be right rudder pedal or have I missed something?

Thanks for the help.


Question by:ross13
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:Paul Sauvé
Paul Sauvé earned 100 total points
ID: 39610134
Hmmm - I don't fly, but I'd have to agree with you - I vote for the right pedal.

The rudder is located on the back edge of the vertical stabilizer, or fin, and is controlled by 2 pedals at the pilot's feet. When the pilot pushes the left pedal, the rudder moves to the left. The air flowing over the fin now pushes harder against the left side of the rudder, forcing the nose of the airplane to yaw round to the left.Rudder Yaw
LVL 37

Assisted Solution

TommySzalapski earned 200 total points
ID: 39610372
Are you sure that taking off on Runway 18 means heading south?
LVL 37

Assisted Solution

TommySzalapski earned 200 total points
ID: 39610382
Or does the wind push the back of the plane more than the front? That would also make sense because the front is heavier and the back has the big tail fin.
See this:
Independent Software Vendors: We Want Your Opinion

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

LVL 25

Assisted Solution

nickg5 earned 100 total points
ID: 39610402
Does a westerly wind mean that the wind is coming from the west or going to the west?
The correct answer is that winds are named according to the direction FROM which they blow.

If the plane is headed south the wind will blow into the plane from the right side of the plane.
If the plane is headed north the wind will blow into the plane from the left side of the plane.

If the plane you refer to is headed south, then the westerly wind should be trying to push the nose of the plane to the left or to the easterly direction. Since westerly winds come from the west.

You push on the right rudder pedal, and the rudder will deflect to right (as seen from behind the airplane) the wind hits the rudder pushing the tail of the airplane to the left causing the nose to go right.

If the wind is pushing the nose to the left (a westerly wind against a plane headed south) then you want the rudder to push the tail to the left causing the nose to go to the right to combat the wind.

Therefore the correct answer seems to be the "left" pedal because that lets the rudder push the tail to the left and the nose to the right to keep it straight against the westerly (incoming) wind.

If you wish to take a plane ride with me, please buy life insurance.
LVL 22

Accepted Solution

Flyster earned 100 total points
ID: 39612271
I should point my ailerons to the right because of the wind
That's correct. However, if you do that AND step on the right rudder, you will be turning to the right! On takeoff, you want to maintain runway heading until at least 800 feet AGL. By stepping on the left rudder, you put the airplane into a slip, which is one of the two ways to control a crosswind. (The other being crabbing)


Author Closing Comment

ID: 39618075
Thanks for the help.

Featured Post

Free Tool: ZipGrep

ZipGrep is a utility that can list and search zip (.war, .ear, .jar, etc) archives for text patterns, without the need to extract the archive's contents.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way to say thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Originally published Booming numbers of freelancing professionals are changing the face of work. In the United States alone last year, the number of workers freelancing grew from 700,000 to 54 million, according to a Freelancers’…
I've been asked to discuss some of the UX activities that I'm using with my team. Here I will share some details about how we approach UX projects.
Where to go on the main page to find the job listings. How to apply to a job that you are interested in from the list that is featured on our Careers page.
This is a video describing the growing solar energy use in Utah. This is a topic that greatly interests me and so I decided to produce a video about it.

705 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question