Wind Indicators

img_0146Almost all airports have one or maybe even all of the 3 types of wind indicators. Above is a picture of the 3 types from my Pilot Handbook by Gleim. Some airports also have automated weather systems that will give you wind information, but it might not always be current.

Wind Socks or Wind Cones

I prefer the wind socks because they tell you the direction of the wind and also give you a rough idea of the wind velocity. They are also the type of wind indicators we have at KCMI! They are fabric cones the direction is determined by the large end of the cone that points into the wind and the wind will blow through it and out the small end. You can judge the wind strength by looking at the how it is in relation to the pole. A limp sock generally the winds are calm whereas a straight and horizontal sock means there is a strong wind. A sock that is moving all around could indicate a gusty or variable wind. It could also mean there is a bird or something playing inside it.

Wind Tees

Wind tees are in the shape of a “T”and point in the direction that the wind is going. This indicates  that you should land in the opposite direction. It is easiest to think of it as the T shape as a small airplane and it is landing into the wind. These do not indicate wind velocity.


Tetrahedrons point in the direction from which the wind is coming and indicate that landings should be done in that direction. It is easier for me to think of these as the opposite of the wind socks. These also do not indicate wind velocity.

You can visit for airport resources for your specific airport or others if you are just curious.




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