Saturday, February 20, 2016

Flying Lesson #41 - A Pleasant Trip To Mt. Pleasant

Last night winds of 50+ miles per hour blew through the area, evaporating the snow and ice.

This morning when I got to the airport there was winds gusting from 20-30 knots at the surface, but luckily in line with the runway.

Today Will decided we would do a cross-country to Mt. Pleasant as it is to the north which would help with the winds and an uncontrolled field.

I did the pre-flight, got the ATIS which was reporting wind shear and got clearance to taxi and headed to the runway.

Good crosswind takeoff, and it was very gusty and bumpy on the way out up until about 5,000 feet.

We had enough of a headwind that for awhile with full throttle in at 6,500 feet we were practically standing still - we had turned the Cessna into a hovering helicopter. Forget about turns around the point, this was staying over a point. We continued the slow journey onward, finally passing above Flint's Class C airspace and listening to their ATC. I kept the plane in nice level flight the whole time and felt quite comfortable.

Even showing 90 knots indicated we weren't going anywhere fast - cars were passing us like we were standing still, as indeed we were.

Drawing parallel to the frozen lakes in the previous picture took ages.

We very slowly flew over Flint in the face of the headwind. Even with full fuel tanks, I was going to radio them and ask if they had some low lead available......

We finally got to Mt. Pleasant, flying over a windmill farm.

And we made the field:

On the way back we were a rocket, with a 40 knot tailwind and made it back to Pontiac in less than half the time it took us to get to Mt. Pleasant.

We hit a lot of turbulence down to and at pattern altitude, but on descent once we hit 1,300 feet it became nice and stable and with the strong wind we made a very soft landing. I landed and taxied back keeping the elevators down and the ailerons away from the tailwind and we parked tand tied the plane down.

That's 2.2 cross country hours, 2 landings and a great lesson. I handled the plane just fine this lesson and had a great time. I had a good discussion with Will and feel better about the previous one as well. Onward and upward.


Murphy's Law said...

I been to MOP quite a few times. Did some of my early training there, too. Do they still have a grass strip in addition to the paved one? (I'm too lazy to look on Airnav.)

Aaron said...

Tash and I still remember very well the trip with you flying up to KMOP (remember "Do Something!"?)

They do still have the turf runway but I believe its closed in winter.