April 28, 2007

Working on Crosswind Landings

All week I was hoping for two things come Saturday, clear skies and a bit of wind. My wishes came true today as Chicago enjoyed a beautiful day with mid seventy-degree weather, few clouds at 5,000 or above and wind. I headed out to Windy City Flyers for my first flight as a member of the club. I talked with my CFI earlier in the week and explained I wanted to schedule 2-3 flights with him to rebuild proficiency in the Cessna 172, as I have not flown as frequently lately as I would have liked.

My first goal was to do some refresher work on crosswind landings and continue to get familiar with the area around Chicago Executive. Then in subsequent flights I want to work on mastering the use of the GPS systems something the Cessna 152 I trained in did not have. I also look forward to taking in a night flight in the coming month or so.

Today with the winds at from 300 at 15 gusting to 26 it was a perfect day to work on the crosswind landings. We departed straight into the wind from Runway 30. With the added 15 knots of the wind we were in the air quickly. We flew northeast past Campbell Airport and conducted some slow flight and a power off stall. Then we headed to Lake In The Hills for the crosswind landings.

The first time around the pattern my speeds were a bit off and I came in a bit high. The wind was pushing me off track and about 15 feet off the ground I realized this landing was not going as well as I would like and I performed a go-around. I am glad I did the next time around the pattern I flew a much more standardized pattern which set me up for better success. The second landing was much smoother. I conducted two more successful landings before coming in for a final landing before heading back. This time right before coming across the threshold a gust of wind drifted the plane off the centerline a bit. I added power and probably could have brought the plane back down and salvaged the landing attempt but again, like the first attempt, opted for the safer option and put in full power raised the flaps to 20° and performed the go around.

The trip back to Chicago Executive was smooth. I am getting more comfortable with identifying the key landmarks and finding my way around the area. I made a full stop landing at Chicago Executive and logged 1.6 hours. It was a great way to spend part of an afternoon!


Posted at 7:48 PM | Post Category: Cessna 172, Flight Time | Save & Share This Story

April 15, 2007

Joining the Windy City Flyers

wcf_noborder.jpgToday I made a new commitment to my goals of flying more regularly. After a long period of deliberation I finally selected a home airport here in Chicago. I have flown out of Schaumburg, Midway and Chicago Executive (formerly Palwaukee) over the past year but had not joined a flight club at either one.

Today, I scheduled a flight with the Windy City Flyers based at Chicago Executive. I have flown with them several times over the past year and had great experiences each time. Again today I had a great experience with the club and one of their aircraft. Getting into the air at Chicago Executive did not take long despite the beautiful weather that drove many a pilot to the airport today. I flew north and took in several landings at Waukegan Regional Airport. During high school I took a class in aviation and my teacher took me flying and we flew out of Waukegan. It was one of my first flights in a small airplane and one I remember fondly to this day. So, it was fun to visit the airport as Pilot in Command today. Visiting Waukegan brought my count for airports visited to thirty one. View my map of airports that I have landed at.

After the flight I decided it was time to make the commitment and join the club. By joining I will be able to have better scheduling access to the planes and the hourly rate for the plane is cheaper as members are charged the tach time not the hobbs time.

I have my next flight schedule for two weeks from now. I am looking forward to getting back in the habit of flying atleast one to two times per month.


Posted at 5:32 PM | Post Category: Cessna 172, Flight Time | Save & Share This Story