Sunday, August 21, 2016

Flying Lesson #71 - Soft And Short Landings In Gusting Winds

Lesson 71 started on a pleasant day with the cloud cover happily getting well above pattern altitude.

It was also quite a gusty day out, most of the time with the winds in accord with the active runway but often shifting to a cross wind at an inopportune moment, giving some real fun rollers especially on the upwind after some takeoffs or right on final.

Ray decided it would be a pattern day with practice with short and soft field landings in the gusty conditions.

It was quite busy at Pontiac today with a lot of traffic using the pattern and the controller kept things quite tight making it a little nerve-wracking at times in terms of spacing.

The short field landings went pretty well, and with the very strong headwinds the landings were indeed pretty darn short. I certainly hit my point with all of those and on one landing thanks to those winds stopped so short due to the winds I didn't really need to even brake to stop. Probably had a ground speed down to 20 knots or so when the wheels hit the ground considering a 21 knot gust of a headwind.

The soft field landings I did ok on, but not quite as well as i would have liked. I need to flare a lot more, and especially I need to slow down as I started getting ahead of myself in procedures even as I felt behind the airplane at times.

Overall not a bad lesson but not particularly great either.

That's 10 landings and 1.2 hours.

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