Hopefully helpful writings of a career minded pilot, working through the ratings in a Part 61 school while still managing to eat and find time to sleep and work.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

48kts at 3000 feet, oh my!

I opted not to fly yesterday as it was howling all day. Instead I chose today because it was better, and because the winds were set to die down as the day went on. Last week my instructor said he wanted to fly by myself one more time before taking the commercial checkride, and even though i'm okay with all the maneuvers, one more time on a calmer day will be ideal.

Coming out of KBED to the west, it was bumpy from the second i left the tarmac. Immediately weathervaning about 15 - 20 degrees (rwy 29, winds were 320/15/G23 i think?), I maintained the centerline while i took the winter elevator ride straight up. those who fly GA in the winter know what i mean. on the way out to the practice area, i hit probably the worst turbulence I've experienced since going up to portland, ME back when doing my private. BUMP BUMP BA-BUMP...for about a good 30 seconds while trying to write down a squawk code from boston departure. I managed to tighten the lap belt and get a quick bravo clearance to climb up above 3000 where the winds were supposedly smoother. the bumps were so bad, i had a hard time talking as i was fighting with the controls to keep it level. at about 2700 it was like a different day altogether - ride was as smooth as glass, although my groundtrack was definitely cockeyed with the 48kt reported winds. I slowed to MCA to see if I could appear to go backwards :)

anyway, lazy 8s are still right where i want them, so i headed back, and landed with only one notch at 80+ kts given the crosswind. WONK...crappiest landing i've had in months. i pulled off the runway, sat for a sec and thought, 'that won't do...what if this was my checkride?' so i called up ground and asked to head back to the active for pattern work. cleared to takeoff, i did two more crosswind landings, this time paying more attention, and they were nice and smooth - 80-85kts, and two notches of flaps. all in all, a great flight.

291.4 hours and counting...

Here's my PIREP:

And here are some Piper Arrow parts pictures of the legs I snapped during pre-flight...everything in it's right place!

right main

nose gear joints + bottom of the engine

the motor what makes the legs go up and down + the battery

corner office with a view.