Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Yesterday, I did crosswind landings.

I prefer to slip than to crab, I think. I find it a lot easier at the end.

5 good ones, and one where we miscommunicated and I thought I was stopping but was told to go around. So I rushed and applied power and took off accidentally with flaps. Which I chose not to change until I was at a few hundred feet of altitude. First time taking off with flaps. Came right off the runway in 50 degree weather and 800 foot field elevation with all those flaps. Lots of lift, and lots more drag.

Plus I gotta start my turns sooner. I over shot my base to Final turn twice 'cause of the wind.

And on the climb out at about 500 ft AGL, Bob pulled my hand on the throttle back just a bit, just enough to change the engine note. "Ok, engine failure. what now?"

"Straight ahead over the railroad tracks" says I .."Nice field there".

"What if a train comes?"

"Then we are screwed," I answered. " We will hit it".  "First ever midair with a train....."I laughed. So did he.

Went around and landed again.

I need some practice, but I can do this. I finally realized that the runways are (generally) a lot longer (and most are wider) than I need, so there is lots of time and lots of space to land on.

Didn't fly today, the winds were 200 10 knots gusting to 28. 


Old NFO said...

No, you wouldn't be the first mid-air with a train... :-)

CenterPuke88 said...

I remember some black and white stock footage of a plane hitting a train...

The best hint I heard on crosswinds is watch all available data. That smoke stack will show where the going, as will the flags by that shop, etc. Also, at your home field (or nearby, familiar practice field), your relative speed across the ground and the position you roll out from downwind to base is data you'll start to recognize. Let's say you're heading downwind a bit faster than normal and the turn to base over the softball field ends passed the parking lot instead of at the outfield wall, it'll start to make sense to you and help you gauge your turn to final.

The other note is a slightly early turn to final beats a late turn...letting the wind blow you onto final via a little less crab than usually beats the heck outta fighting upwind. The one bad thing about crab is that some aircraft are much more sensitive to undercarriage crossroads than a C-172, so your kickout may be a in need of work when you move to something a little more cross country oriented.

I don't remember if you said you've worked with any towers yet, make sure to get some practice with that soon.

Bonus plane/train interaction: