Friday, November 20, 2015

Flying Lesson #23 - How To Get Really Winded

Today I had the pleasure of flying the pattern and doing landings in a cross wind with gusts from 15-30 knots and low level wind shear warnings. I was flying N7455PR for this particular lesson.

Today, that the flying did not go particularly well would be putting it delicately.

I was fighting the plane all over the damn place and the gusts and shear was doing their level best to kick my butt, including some impressively frightening moments that were really not happy-making. Lots of trouble making anything close to a stable approach today.

I actually called a go-round on one landing and did so as the approach was not working well at all. Meanwhile, before and during the go-round an idiot was chatting with the tower about whether the tower has seen any security changes since 9/11, cause that's important for flying operations now, right? He kept right on chatting away. Will this guy ever shut up? Apparently not.

So, go round completed with no way to notify the tower, rejoin the pattern and he's still chatting away. We get on approach to final and finally dip in at the first pause of blessed silence asking if we have clearance for the option, which we get on very short final. Not a terrible landing on that one - crab into the wind and at the last moment get the nose aligned with the runway.

We did some landings with less than 30 degrees of flaps and more speed due to the wind gusts and then Sean had me try a flap-less landing - which really sucked but I got it down and for a first time it's supposed to suck, right?

Certainly not my finest bit of flying and to say I was not having fun in those conditions would be an understatement. Some days you think you're ready to finally solo and you're getting it, and then a day like today comes along and slaps you around nicely.

That's 1.3 Hours, 9 landings with 8 by me including one flap-less, and 1 go-round.


Home on the Range said...
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Home on the Range said...

Sorry about that, don't swill coffee and type at the same time. 30 knot crosswinds? Most light aircraft have max demonstrated crosswinds (flown by test pilots) of 12-17 knots. What are you training in?

Aaron said...


A Skyhawk 172. Crosswind factor was typically around 8-10 knots due to the angle of the wind vs the runway.

Not so much the crosswind (which was interesting to relearn crabbing) but the wind shear and turbulence was kicking me all over the place and shaking me enough to make flying the pattern rather difficult.

Home on the Range said...

ah HA. That is a workhorse of an airplane and a great trainer. Glad they've got you started out in that bird. There's a lot of trainers that with that much wind would be unmanageable (oh, and if someone EVER offers to take you up in a Tomahawk - just say NO. :-)