Monday, February 20, 2006

Work In The Pattern....

Today looked really nice for some flying time. I had previously scheduled two time slots, 8:30am and 3:30pm. I hit McDonald's on the drive up since I opted for some extra sleep in time this morning. Checking the wx at Chester County (40N) and Pottstown (PTW) winds are pretty much the same 290 at 3, 270 5. I check out 2746C and get underway. Three landings today, first on center but still a bit flat.

Landing number two, I am off on the upwind leg and it's getting windy. No worry, I settle in and make my cross wind turn followed by the turn downwind for 27. Airspeed really increases and then drops right back and I am banking and applying rudder to maintain straight and level. Pulling the power back to 14-1500 and settling in I add the first 10* of flaps. The winds seem to have calmed a bit, as I turn for left base runway 27. I extend a bit farther then usual to compensate for the crosswind then turn final a bit high but able to pull back a bit more throttle. Looking much better, slipping my way down and adding the last notch of flaps when I feel I have the runway made. Over the numbers and riding the rudder to keep me it til' I tie it, don't stop flying! Stall horn breaks my concentration as it moans for attention, briefly silent, then back again with peaking howls, then a chirp and more rudder to get back to centerline. I make my way to the taxiway and call down and clear.

Landing three is about the same as No. 2 but the winds are starting to really make me work on final, both maintaining straight and level and my alignment. I am down with a nice centerline and nose high producing that moaning stall indication again. Nice! gentle chirps and holding off the nose wheel I make the taxiway to call down and clear. Again through the checklists and taxi back for another round.

Landing four, as I depart I glance again at the windsock and its jumping around pretty good. I climb out working to maintain my heading for noise abatement and as I turn crosswind I get a good push that really felt like I was starting to roll. I make my aileron and rudder corrections and get squared away as I look to turn downwind. Oh yes, I now remind myself to take a breath. Downwind pushing me pretty good but maintaining my ground track. I power back to 1500 and add 10* of flaps, settle in checking for traffic and starting my turn to base. Again nice and easy, actions are getting smooth and I am getting the flow going. Checking one last time for any traffic that may sneak in, I turn to final runway 27. ALT looks good and speed is jumping around, it's ride em' cowboy time again. I hold off on my last notch of flaps, I would not want to have to make the runway engine out with the winds jumping and a head wind preventing me from "getting there". Ok, I am now at the point of having the runway made so I add the last notch of flaps, power back a bit so the winds don't stop and drop me. I round out and flair in low and slow over the runway floating and working to keep aligned. Finally down and my roll out has me past the taxiway I note that I used up some runway. I call my back taxi and take another look at the wind sock and its snapping pretty good, and that's with holes in it. I look at the windsock over at the helicopter hangars and its stretched out pretty good too. I decide that 46C and me will be done for this flight. I get the aircraft tied down and head back to the office.

I told them inside that I thought I would exceed my personal limits if I tried another landing and that I was very pleased with my landings today. Besides, I have a 3:30 time slot reserved.

Back at 3:30 and 40N and PTW are reporting winds 320 at 11 kts Gusts 15 kts, um....I don't think I'm going there!!! I'll wait until late this week and get back to pattern work.

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