Saturday, June 10, 2017

Flying Lessons #128 Solo and #129 Gone With The Wind(shear)

Yesterday I went to two different courts for different hearings and did lots of lawyer-stuff and then headed to the airport for a 4pm flight. I had planned to go to the practice area, do some maneuvers and then do the pattern. I had been feeling pretty good and confident from the last lesson, maybe I can actually do this after all. Heh.

Of course, the TAF and weather services called for thunderstorms from 4-6 pm. The curse of my solo schedule strikes again - if I schedule a solo, the conditions will be such that I cannot solo - I am one-man force of climate change. By simply scheduling a solo I can make it variously snow, thunderstorm, or cause high winds, yep, you can thank me later.

But, there was no sign of any approaching cumulonimbus clouds and the flight school head said go up, stay in the pattern.

Not what I was planning but ok.

N1689H had fuel to the tabs, over 17 gallons per tank, more than plenty for a little pattern work. SO I started her up, got her out of the parking place and commenced pattern work. Now runway 27L was closed so I was sharing 27R with some rather large jets so yes there was frequent wake turbulence and traffic issues.

The first landing went ok.

The second time around I had my landing clearance cancelled then got it back on short final and I did a go round as the approach wasn't stable at that point to my liking and a hit of wind got me just before touchdown. A decent enough and safe go round.

The next two landings simply sucked and I bounced them both in, winds were picking up and I simply wasn't having a good day so I terminated at 0.7 and three landings. Looking back I was both coming in too high and too hot, cutting the base to final corner and flaring too high - other than that, the patterns were rather nice. In short not great and I told my instructor that it did not go well.

So today I get to the airport for Lesson 129.

Since my instructor told the head of the flight school that I did not have a good day, he decided I needed a bit of ground to go over pattern procedures. Well, I suppose it helped somewhat. He then told the instructor flying with me today Mustafa, a newer CFI there, as Ray was off to first just do slow flight over the runway and then do landings after he's confident I've got it.

Oh and the wind conditions were bad and getting worse today. Blowing and shifting from 240-180 (180 is a direct crosswind) at 16-24 knots.

Oh Fly me.

So we would be doing some real fun crosswind work.

I did a good crosswind takeoff and we had lot of wind shear and bumps and gusts which made it so much fun.

I trolled the runway a couple times, letting the tower know what we were going to do and they were cool with that.

Then I did the first landing which was a bit rough due to the winds and wind shear. Tower then had us fly a left pattern for traffic management which was no problem and rather rarer coming off of 27R but with 27L still closed it was kinda fun. The next landing was also not great. Have to really force the nose down in those conditions.

The next three were better and stabilized and I did then pretty good but on the last two we were getting wind-shear of plus and minus 15 knots, and the tower asked us for a pirep on the wind conditions and we let them know and they passed that on to incoming traffic. In short watching the airspeed indicator swing from 80 to 65 knots and back was interesting on final and made for interesting crosswind landings.

We called it at that point and terminated with 1.0 and five landings.

We then chatted about the flight and things I can work on, which was actually helpful.

Again I'm told I'm doing well and am really, really close - like I haven't heard that before.

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