Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Flying Lesson #118 - A Dance With Airmet Tango

Well with winds blowing from 13-25 knots at 250 it was certainly not going to be a solo day, the showering rain didn't help much either.

I would fly instead with Marcus and I said let's do some pilotage to Linden as that will almost assuredly be a part of my checkride.

So I did a nice preflight etc, and the takeoff was quite quick - a 25 knot headwind will do that for you.

I had a compass course in for Linden and Marcus helpfully pointed out the railroad track I should follow that I had found on the map as the windshield was kinda getting rained on messing up the forward visibility. Side viz was still ok so I put the railroad track on my left and followed it along until I found the airport and as I hit Holly I descended to stay under FLint's Class C airspace.

So, I found Linden with no serious problems and probably doing it a couple more times and I'll have it down.

However, by then I was having a serious challenge keeping the plane straight and level in a lot of turbulence - lots of uncommanded and undesired altitude and attitude changes. I did get set up for a downwind entry to the field and was getting stressed enough out of it and having enough fun trying to keep the plane level that we decided to call it and head back to KPTK.

I then pilotaged my way back to KPTK and did a pretty darn decent Downwind to Base to Final and then a nice landing while getting blown all over the darn place, it was kinda sporty.

Then we went in and did some ground stuff on cross country planning and performance charts and the new 1800wxbrief.com website which is kinda neat. Turns out there was an low level and high level Airmet Tango - Tango meaning turbulence in the area of concern to small aircraft such as the one I was flying. The Airmet sure was right.

So it was a sucky .8 and 1 landing. FMFL.


Old NFO said...

Better to 'learn' about turbulence with an instructor on board than hit it for the first time by yourself.

Aaron said...

Yep, I'm definitely getting a very comprehensive and broad array of experience, that's for sure. Definitely the worst turbulence I've piloted an aircraft through so far.