I really have to stop flying like I drive…like an old man. You can get away with that when you drive. Slight turns here and there, slowing down as much as you want…you can even pull over and fall asleep if need be. Well, in an airplane, it’s a little different.
Yesterday was quite breezy. I met with Yigal when I got to the airport and I gave the Cessna a pre-flight. After that, we talked for a little in the office. We went over how to do cross-wind takeoffs and landings. The theory is pretty straightforward and it sounds really easy. It actually is not that tough. All you do is turn the yoke into the direction of the wind and ease up as you gain speed with the airplane. So, the slower you are going, the more dramatic the turn. Yeah, well that’s for takeoffs and landings. Flying in wind is an experience in itself. I felt like yesterday was my first lesson.
This was a good lesson because it exposed me to controlled airports and communicating with the tower as well as how to fly in breezy conditions. Yigal insists that the wind was not very strong and that I will experience much more turbulence in the future. It did stretch me though. The main challenges with this lesson were getting used to a much longer runway (11,000ft), airplane speed and keeping up with the tower communications. The wind made things tough because the upwind and downwind legs of the pattern was much slower and faster, respectively. It was harder to gauge and control the airspeed because of this. Also, we got tossed around much more as I was trying to land and that mandated much more aggressive use of the controls. That is what I need to work on. I need to really get down and move the plane. I will, I promise.
Overall, I feel like this was the most challenging lesson so far, but it was good because it took me out of the mold of Orange County Airport. Also, I had a good time talking with the guys at the control tower. They were really helpful and even though they knew I was a student, they were very cool.
PS – Just to let you know, I almost have 10 hours now!