Friday, November 13, 2015

Flying Lesson #21 - The Winds Of November

Flying Lesson 21 turned out to be a short but instructive lesson.

While skies were clear, winds were 20 gusting to 30 knots but pretty much along the runway. Sean figured it would be a good experience for me to handle the winds and since they were generally blowing around 270 degrees there wouldn't be a huge crosswind issue.

So I showed up, pre-flighted the aircraft, had it fueled up and added oil as usual. The plane was rocking a bit in the wind as I did so, and a slight bit of snow started falling.

We got clearance to taxi and went to the run-up area where I did the run up without any issues as I held the aileron into the crosswind as we taxied to the area.

Then we got clearance to takeoff with a right pattern.

The takeoff was fast to say the least, with a 30 knot wind blowing right down the runway we were up in a flash. So much so that I was at pattern altitude before even getting over the runway threshold. The crosswind turn was fun, and the downwind went by fast. Even with the throttle way low were were still zipping along. Then the turn base and the wind shifted a bit and started pushing us right so I had to compensate left. Not a bad landing and then flaps up, carb heat in, check trim, throttle all the way and we were up again in a jiffy.

On the second pattern we started getting some really heavy gusts and shifting winds. So much so that on final I was getting pushed up and then dropping really fast which was not good. I added power and Sean then took over as it was getting a bit much and we decided to call it at that point.

Overall a good experience in high winds and I did well getting the aircraft where it should be for the most part, but I still need to work on a stabilized approach. The experience should make a calm wind landing much easier by comparison - assuming we get some calm winds here any time soon.

The taxi back was fun - even with throttle fully out the wind was pushing the plane faster than having it throttled up so there was a fair bit of braking involved, as well as holding the ailerons away from the wind and the elevators all the way forward to keep the plane on the ground. Excellent and fun taxi, and I got the plane perfectly placed in its parking spot.

That's .4 hours - my shortest flying lesson so far - and 2 more landings in the book, and the end of a log book page.

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