Flight 21: Crosswinds

It’s been windy the past couple of weeks, especially late in the afternoon when I’ve had a plane booked for solo time. The wind speed and direction have been shifting quickly. The wind may be 15 knots north, then 7 knots northeast, then 12 knots east within a matter of minutes.

Since our runway runs north/south, a brisk north wind is OK, but when the wind shifts it can easily create a crosswind component that exceeds the 152’s limit. These conditions make the fly-or-not decision tough; I’ve cancelled several times already.

Today the wind was still shifting, but it was a bit less strong, so I went for another local solo flight to work on my crosswind skills. Instead of the usual north wind, it was shifting between due east and southeast (about 90 to 150 on the compass), so for the first time in my brief solo career I used runway 18.

I just happened to have a Jeppesen maneuvers booklet with me, and since I had to taxi the length of the runway to use 18, it was handy to have the guide with me to remind myself of the correct quartering tailwind taxi procedures.

The crosswind made for an interesting takeoff and landing, since I hadn’t done solo crosswind work before. I was quite happy with the results; after properly entering the pattern for the less-familiar runway I managed to turn a zigzag approach into a pretty decent landing in a 10-knot crosswind, wheel side down and everything. I had to follow another plane in; he was just pulling off the runway as I made my approach. I still haven’t had to do a go-around.

Today: 1.1 hours
Total: 23.7 hours
Total Solo: 3.3 hours

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