Day 38 - Lesson 19

More circuits in crosswinds

Posted by Owain Abraham-Williams on Sunday 28th February 2016

Yesterday had been a really hard lesson. Today the weather was much the same, coming from 030° at 12 knots. This meant I’d be using runway 09 and have to cope with a crosswind component of about 10 knots. The aeroplane can handle a maximum crosswind of 17 knots, it’s just the pilot that’s struggling!

At the club I meet Martin, a fellow PPL student who started circuits last weekend. Both him and I will be flying circuits at the same time today, him in Juliet November and me in Tango Lima.

I get airborne and tell myself that I’m going to ace it this time. But my nerves are still battered from yesterday’s efforts and by the time I come in to land I’m a nervous wreck and struggle to flare and kick straight at the same time. I’m finding it very hard to relax and this is making me feel deflated.

Derek takes control for one approach and landing, he shows how I should be controlling the aeroplane with little movements, not gripping the controls for dear life and making jerky movements. But coming in to land with the plane turned into wind, thinking about the approach, airspeed, throttle, flaring at the right height and kicking straight before touching down is a real handful.

The last couple of landings were just about okay, but I feel quite disappointed with this weekend’s efforts. I’d really hoped to consolidate my solo flying but feel instead that I’ve regressed. Derek can sense that I’m feeling down-heartened about it, so suggests that next weekend we’ll move onto cross-country flying and visit Kemble. If the wind’s good enough then perhaps I can do some solo circuits there.