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 by at April 28, 2007 7:48 PM

I am so happy you're flying more often ... and I'm up for being a passenger during a lakefront flight whenever you're ready!!

Posted by: CJ at May 1, 2007 1:30 PM