Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Forward Slip to Landing Lesson by wifiCFI


To determine that the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with a forward slip to a landing.


The applicant demonstrates understanding of: 

Concepts of energy management during a forward slip approach. 

Effects of atmospheric conditions, including wind, on approach and landing performance. 

Wind correction techniques during forward slip approaches. 

When and why a forward slip approach is used. 

Risk Management

The applicant demonstrates the ability to identify, assess and mitigate risks, encompassing: 

Selection of runway based on pilot capability, aircraft performance and limitations, available distance, and wind. 

Effects of: 


Wind shear 


Wake turbulence. 

Runway surface/condition 

Abnormal operations, to include planning for rejected landing and go-around. 

Collision hazards, to include aircraft, terrain, obstacles and wires. 

Low altitude maneuvering/stall/spin. 

Distractions, loss of situational awareness, and/or improper task management. 

Forward slip operations, including fuel flowage, tail stalls with flaps, and lack of airspeed control. 

Forward Slip to a Landing (AFH C8)

A slip occurs when the bank angle of an airplane is too steep for the existing rate of turn. 

Unintentional slips are most often the result of uncoordinated rudder/aileron application. 

Intentional slips, however, are used to dissipate altitude without increasing airspeed and/or to adjust airplane ground track during a crosswind. 

Intentional slips are especially useful in forced landings and in situations where obstacles must be cleared during approaches to confined areas. 

A slip can also be used as an emergency means of rapidly reducing airspeed in situations where wing flaps are inoperative or not installed.

A slip is a combination of forward movement and sideward (with respect to the longitudinal axis of the airplane) movement, the lateral axis being inclined and the sideward movement being toward the low end of this axis (low wing). 

An airplane in a slip is in fact flying sideways, which results in a change in the direction that the relative wind strikes the airplane. 

Slips are characterized by a marked increase in drag and corresponding decrease in airplane climb, cruise, and glide performance. 

It is the increase in drag, however, that makes it possible for an airplane in a slip to descend rapidly without an increase in airspeed.

A “forward slip” is one in which the airplane’s direction of motion continues the same as before the slip was begun. 

Assuming the airplane is originally in straight flight, the wing on the side toward which the slip is to be made should be lowered by use of the ailerons. 

Simultaneously, the airplane’s nose must be yawed in the opposite direction by applying opposite rudder so that the airplane’s longitudinal axis is at an angle to its original flightpath.

It is important to slip the airplane with the wing down into the direction of the wind.

Discontinuing a slip is accomplished by leveling the wings and simultaneously releasing the rudder pressure while readjusting the pitch attitude to the normal glide attitude. 

If the pressure on the rudder is released abruptly, the nose swings too quickly into line and the airplane tends to acquire excess speed. 

Because of the location of the pitot tube and static vents, airspeed indicators in some airplanes may have considerable error when the airplane is in a slip. 

Stabilized Approach Concept

A stabilized approach is one in which the pilot establishes and maintains a constant angle glide path towards a predetermined point on the landing runway. 

It is based on the pilot’s judgment of certain visual clues and depends on the maintenance of a constant final descent airspeed and configuration.

Private Pilot ACS Standards

Complete the appropriate checklist. 

Make radio calls as appropriate. 

Plan and follow a flightpath to the selected landing area considering altitude, wind, terrain, and obstructions. 

Select the most suitable touchdown point based on wind, landing surface, obstructions, and aircraft limitations. 

Position airplane on downwind leg, parallel to landing runway. 

Correctly configure the airplane. 

As necessary, correlate crosswind with direction of forward slip and transition to side slip for landing. 

Touch down within -0/+400 feet from the specified touchdown point with minimum side drift.

FAA Sources Used for This Lesson

Private Pilot Airmen Certification Standards

Airplane Flying Handbook (AFH) Chapter 8

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