Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Quest for the Perfect Crosswind Landing

Today was a funny day.  The weather was so up and down that we cancelled my lesson at one point and then decided it was back on.  That's not to say that the weather cleared right up and we had perfect conditions...

In fact, today's conditions were rather challenging.  There were good physical demonstrations of the effects of wind shear, head winds, tail winds, and crosswinds. 

The main goal of today's lesson was to get that crosswind landing technique down.  Crosswind landing technique is hard to describe but to do a good one, you want to land on one of the rear wheels, let down until the second rear wheel is on the ground and then gently let down the nose wheel.  You have to physically 'dip' the wing into the wind and then oppose that action using opposite rudder to keep you straight.  I had a good number of tries today and did relatively well.  Did I get the technique down pat?  Well, my instructor did say one of my landings showed "perfect crosswind technique" and was "sweet as" and on the last landing when I had a momentary doubt and asked him to take control, he chided me saying that I had that one and he was perfectly confident that I could have handled it. 

We also simulated a few engine failures after take off and I was able to handle them without any stress...even when the simulation came late on the crosswind leg and I wasn't expecting it.  The instructor was impressed that I didn't get confused by difference as engine failure can happen at any time.

With such positive feedback today, I feel like I'm really on track to going solo in the next couple of hours.  Hard to believe I've done 8.8 hours of flying already! 

One other thing...I found this quote today and I thought it was awesome:  Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings.  ~C.D. Jackson

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