Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wind

We'd had an easy time with ground portion of the Flight Review, and now we headed out onto the ramp to do the preflight in the calm early evening air.

"See," I said, "the forecast was for the wind to die down right about now!" Famous last words...

We started up and taxied out, the wind favoring a long-ago-closed runway, but light enough to be of no consequence. We taxied into the runup areas while a commuter and freighter taxied our way.

"AmFlight blah-blah-blah, a few minutes ago an arriving twin Cessna reported moderate turbulence below 2000AGL," ground announced.

"Roger," came the Amflight's reply. Freight Dog. Going anyway. The boxes don't complain.

"SkyWest blah-blah-blah, did you copy the report of moderate turbulence."

"Affirmative."

The freighter launched. The Brasilia launched. Now it was our turn.

"Be aware of wake turbulence," the instructor in me said as we started the roll.

BLAM!

As soon as we were airborne the turbulence kicked in. And kicked again. And kicked harder! This was as rough as I'd flown in in many years.

We climbed into smooth air for a little airwork, then headed back to the pattern.

BLAM!

As soon as we descended to 2,000' AGL the turbulence kicked in. And kicked again. And kicked harder! Our first approach was a mess, and we went around early. The second was better, and he did a good job, landing on the centerline in extremely variable winds, while I stayed loose but alert.

As we rolled out we looked at each other and said, almost simultaneously, "I'm done for today, how about you?"

And so we were.

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1 Comments:

At November 24, 2011 at 8:10 AM , Blogger On a Wing and a Whim said...

A few breaks in work back, my husband smiled at me over lunch. "It's a beautiful day! Calm, blue skies - why don't you go fly?"

I looked up from my computer, out the window where small wisps of cloud had been scuttling by all morning like frightened mice, and shook my head with a smile.

I have learned to my sorrow that what a Boeing calls "light" turbulence, and what a freight dog calls moderate, is never fun.

 

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