I understand that flaps are devices used to increase the amount of lift and drag. When landing with a tailwind your groundspeed will be higher. Therefore, flaps would help reduce this groundspeed, logically allowing for a lower touchdown speed.

Should flaps always be applied with a tailwind? Are there reasons not to use flaps when landing with a tailwind?


Forget about tailwind/headwind for flap use. Flaps allow landing with a lower airspeed. And you always want a lower airspeed. The wind itself is irrelevant except that your groundspeed will be higher or lower depending on where the wind is, and which you always want to be slow as possible. On light aircraft you want to avoid tailwind components over 5kt. Jets are usually certified, takeoff and landing performance wise, with a max tailwind component of 10-15 kt. But in any case you are still using normal landing flap to have the minimum airspeed, giving the minimum groundspeed for a particular condition.

The time when you may want to land with less than landing flap is when the winds are strong and very gusty (and you will be landing into wind if you aren't crazy) and you want to have a bit more energy with a bit less drag (so the aircraft conserves more energy with its inertia) during the landing flare to cope with sudden small airspeed variations from gusts, which can drop you on the runway hard before you can react if you have the flaps all the way out.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.