I knew the winds were going to be a little funky this flight. Reasonably strong and pretty much from the North. I wasn’t unduly concerned, with Bob on board I’ve landed a 10 knot crosswind before, so I figured I’d be able to manage the forecast 7 or 8 knots.
I’ve always had a running battle with the North wind, geographically it kicks up some localised bumps and jolts over the city and practice area and it makes your approach a little more problematic than, say a South wind.
Sure enough it made the flight a little more challenging, a little harder work but it wasn’t as frustrating as it has been in the past. I knew what the wind was doing, I knew that it was the wind trying to push me out over the lake and so I knew what to do about it.
The trip from Pickering to Claremont seemed to take forever because of the headwind but at least the trip back was quicker!
On approach to the city I was conscious of the fact that it’d be very easy to get caught out and let the wind shove me towards the Hern stacks. I concentrated hard on threading the plane between them and the new high-rises that have sprung up. Generally though the approach was going well.
Now for the landing, the hardest part of any crosswind situation. I already had a plan in mind; I’d discussed it with Bob before I took off in response to his “what’s your take on the wind?” question.
“I’ve already done a 10knot crosswind before.” I said. “It took me a couple of overshoots to get the feel of the wind, but I got it down eventually. Anyways I’ll take a couple of bashes at it and if not then I’ll request 33.” I was strangely confident that I’d manage.
So here I was, set up for a straight in approach for 26. ATC had offered me 33 as an option when I made initial contact. With some not quite standard radio work (the frequency was quiet) I told ATC that “we’d* give 26 a go”
So I did, I set up for a nice angle of approach, I’m becoming a bit of a fan of the “a little high and then deploy full flaps” method. It seems a little safer than low and dragging it in under power method that I previously seemed to use.
The landing started off really well. It got away from me a little bit at the end, still not sure what exactly happened but I’m studying the footage. It was nothing major, I just ended up a little long and a little more away from the centreline than I’d like. The really important thing is that when I felt it starting to go a little squirly, I didn’t panic. I got it back to a reasonable point and made a totally passable landing.
All in all I’m very happy, I have another set of numbers to add to my “ I flew in that, and it all went ok” bag of tricks.
Add one 8 knot crosswind, straight across the runway.
*I’m not 100% sure why I said “we”. Maybe I like to think of JES and I as a team!