Wind Direction

  • Draw wind direction on map.
  • Thermal Drift - only shows upper level wind
  • Smoke / Dust
  • Wind shadow on water
  • Birds always land into wind, they are not stupid
When you have to land out, Murphy’s Law applies. There may be no good indication of wind direction. For want of any obvious indications (smoke or occasionally the wind swaying tall crops), then the decision must be based on:
  • The forecast wind. The surface wind has a diurnal variation – that is it changes during the day – veering (clockwise change of direction) during the morning and backing (anti-clockwise) towards evening. The passage of a front of any sort will cause a change in direction.
  • The drift experienced during the flight. Of particular value is the drift noticed in the last desperate attempts to remain airborne. Although the work-load will be high in this instance, a quick check of one’s position relative to, say, a farmhouse, will give the necessary information after a few turns.
  • The final confirmation comes from an accurately flown circuit pattern with the downwind leg parallel to the landing direction and the base leg at right angles to it, during which drift correction, if necessary, will give a reasonable indication of wind direction.