Saturday, April 27, 2013

Be Prepared

My Dad gave me the opportunity to be a Boy Scout but it just didn't fit. Camping just wasn't my thing so my interest withered quickly. However I did learn some valuable lessons and the Scout Motto was one of them.

Harry is a Saint. After I called to let him know my new tire and tube had arrived he asked me to leave them in the hangar and he would get to them when he could. The man has a very busy schedule keeping the planes flying at the Lehigh Valley Flying Club.  When I got to the hangar the next day it was installed. So I put her pant back on and got ready for a test flight.

It still hasn't reached full Springtime here yet. We had clear blue skies but temps are in the low to mid 50's during the warmest parts of the afternoon. Its still windy. So when I checked the local METARs I wasn't surprised to find gusts to 12kts. The windsock verified it and was fluttering in all directions. We took off to the north with a climb well above 800 Ft/Min and got bounced around a bit leaving the pattern. It was great to be up in the air again. I could see out to forever. So we wandered around a bit, followed some well traveled roads and enjoyed seeing the yellow-green color once again on the trees. The Pennsylvania farmers are busy.

All too soon I was back on the 45 to runway 34 doing my landing checks. A Cessna had just departed to the east and I didn't see him, but our radio calls gave me confidence that we were well clear of each other. Downwind was bumpy and the winds were pushing me into a tight pattern. I extended a little to give me a better chance to line up on final. The windsock was straight out direct crosswind and I was correcting to left most of the way down. Nothing I hadn't seen before so I confidently got myself ready to dance on the rudder to kick her straight before touchdown. A sharp gust lifted my left wing and I corrected. Another after that and suddenly I was fighting the controls. Almost without thinking the power lever went full forward and I looked for a positive rate of climb. "4PS going around."

The next attempt was uneventful. Wind was now straight down the runway and while I didn't get a "squeak" I was pleased nonetheless.

Its a good motto.

No comments:

Post a Comment