METAR KILG 281651Z 30018G22KT 10SM CLR 10/M03 A2984
Runway 9-27 is closed at Wilmington along with many taxiways due to construction. I was directed to back taxi on runway one and advise ready to depart. Hmmm, let's think about this prior to my taxi out. That works out to a 70* crosswind at 17-21 knots from my left. I feel comfortable enough to make the go decision having also noted that the wind speed was calling for less as the day went on. Ok, brake released, I'm on my way. After my run up I am cleared to back taxi on runway one, I went far enough allowing me 4,000 feet to get off the ground.
679er is up and away weathervaning along the runway heading. I make my way to Brandywine having to crab into the wind to stop from blowing towards the next ring of the Philly Class bravo. Winds aloft reported at Atlantic City at 3000 - 2932 and 6000 - 2646. It was bumpy, gusty and I asked myself how bad did I really want to fly this Instrument lesson. I was now announcing a three mile 45* for left down wind two seven at Brandywine. Winds reported on the AWOS 290 14G23, I had two notches of flaps in as I turned final and kept my speed up around seventy knots. Just over the fence I added the last notch of flaps and set 679er down. Only a slight moan of the stall horn followed by chirps. Fly till you tie it as my CFI used to say and that's just what I did.
My hour and a half lesson went off pretty smooth. I did the GPS RWY 27 approach into Brandywine followed by a VOR A approach. My procedure turn was ok at best the first go round with a parallel entry, I didn't allow enough wind correction (actual path, blue track). I made a left turn to stay in the protected area ( red track)and cut a heck of an angle to intercept the inbound 54* radial. The needle finally came alive as I had crossed the station. My CFI Brian asked are we established, the answer is no, now what he asked. Obviously another lap around the hold this time much better with my wind correction. Very good he said but what did you forget....key up jeopardy music.....times up, I forgot to notify ATC....UGGgghhhh. (I forgot my GPS so I had to hand draw my flight path for the VOR A, I'll remember it Saturday.)
I completed my lap and shot the VOR A holding my altitude better and following procedures. My timer work was spot on along with pre-landing checks and managing to still fly the plane. Did I mention how bumpy it was? I was on the money this time and did a circle to land for runway two seven. My landing was a little flat but overall a good job.
My assignment is to knock out the PTS study guide for the oral test prep this weekend and I should be good to go. I hope to get the check ride done the week of the 8th, we shall see.
I have to share this video. This was taken by a fellow forum poster and webmaster of 160knots.com. Frank has some fantastic videos with good audio exchange between he and ATC. This video is one of my favorites and gives one a very good idea of what pilots deal with when strong gusty winds are forecast. Oh yeah, hang on to your hat!!