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A crosswind is wind blowing across the direction of travel of an aircraft (as opposed to a headwind or tailwind).

A crosswind is wind blowing across the direction of travel of an aircraft (as opposed to a headwind, or a tailwind).

Illustration of wind direction in tailwind, headwind, and crosswind

A crosswind may be a direct crosswind (blowing at exactly 90 degrees to the aircraft's direction of travel as shown above), or a wind blowing at an angle to the direction of travel (a headwind/tailwind with a crosswind component, which can be calculated using a crosswind component grid; such a wind is also known as a quartering headwind/tailwind).

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