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Windy Circuits - hour 11

Posted on 21 April, 2015 at 3:20

The weather conditions have improved slightly since yesterday - it was only 15kts today with a small amount of crosswind. It was raining a little, but not too heavily. After a (very!) cold and wet pre-flight, I gladly climbed into the cockpit to defrost. My little brother Cooper (aged 10 - and another aviation enthusiast) was going to come up for a ride, but wisely choose not to when a big gust of wind moved the plane a little, yanking the controls. 

Once I did all the pre-flight checks, I called in and taxied over to the runway. We got to the holding point and I called in again only to be greeted with the usual "Cowra Aerodrome CTAF" before heading down runway 15 and taking off. We sped through upwind, crosswind and downwind due to the strong wind - our groundspeed on downwind was about 140kts! We were knocked and buffeted every which way during the whole circuit and I had to battle the small crosswind as well. However, after the first circuit we had to do a fullstop as we forgot my cushion to sit on - I'm still too short to see out the window without it!

Once I had my cushion, we were once again on my way. It was a grey old day, so landings were particularly tough. Going from a ground speed of 140kts to 40kts was the biggest change and required a lot of attention, concentration and change in RPM. Heading down final and trying to keep the aiming point stationary in the window was incredibly difficult due to the gusts that were pushing us away and causing sudden, small wing drops meaning I had to have my feet going like crazy on the pedals. The throttle was hardly ever still. 

Although the 15-20kt wind (plus a crosswind of 10kt) made everything difficult, I managed to complete some of my best unassisted landings as I'm starting to understand how much back pressure to apply in order to match the sink. I even managed to get the stall warning to go off on the last landing! 

Overall it was a fabulous flight, We got knocked and bounced every which way but that just added to the experience. Can't wait for next time! 

Location: Fly Oz, Cowra

Date: 21/04/15 

Instructor: Christian Charles 


Categories: Flying lessons and circuits

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