Saturday, August 1, 2009

Crosswind Practice

So, I got an email from an old high school buddy ("Rob") who reads my blog, and he asked if I'd take him flying. So I scheduled a plane and we met at the local aerodrome.

It was a bit breezy, but not gusty, and the wind was pretty much aligned with the runway, so I felt pretty confident that we'd have a nice smooth flight.

Rob walked through the preflight with me and after I was satisfied that the airplane was airworthy, we saddled up and got in the air.

However, the air was fairly bumpy, but both pilot and co-pilot were holding lunch down well, so we pressed on. Rob snapped some pictures (finding out along the way how hard it is to take good photos from a plane) and then I gave him the airplane. He made the same mistakes, at first, that everyone makes the first time they get the controls of an airplane. After awhile, he got the hang of straight and level flight, and even some turns. I had him continue with my IFR flight plan (I Follow Roads) and we flew back to Flying Cloud along Highway 212.

I got a little surprise with the ATIS weather report...winds at 16 gusting to 24. Now, this isn't a dangerous situation, as I have plenty of crosswind landing experience and the Warrior is very stable in crosswind situations. But it means I would have to work a little harder to get in a good landing.

So, I made a decent pattern and set up for a crabbed crosswind landing. A couple of times, the gusts blew the plane almost 45° to the runway (briefly), but I kept the plane on the glide path, kicked the tail over as we crossed the threshold. I felt plane float just a bit, then the tires kissed the pavement for a brief moment, then we were up a few inches, floating along again. The tires yelped a bit and we were down. Rob thought it was a good landing, so we'll go with his assessment.

Here are some pictures for your amusement. The batteries for the GPS tracker were dead so no track for you!

Next flight I'd like to take the bravo up again so I don't forget how to fly that little go kart with wings.

Rob is more or less in control of the aircraft.

A view of the beautiful Minnesota countryside.

Coney Island on Lake Waconia. Once a resort paradise...

Oh yeah, the plane is still airworthy, yessir!

Pictured here: Rob


Steve said...

Always side with the passengers when they call it a good landing...

Keith K. said...

I'm sure not gonna argue with them!

Steve said...

I meant to ask... did you end up heading to Oshkosh?

Keith K. said...

No I didn't, there were many conflicts that didn't allow it.

I told my wife to mark it on her calendar for next year, though, because whatever gets planned in the next year takes a backseat to Airventure.

Steve said...

I'm with you on that one. Not that I wouldn't mind meeting up sooner, but I hope to make it up there to see ya at OSH!

James said...

I like the plane!