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So, I thought I would start this thread as a way of maybe educating other pilots of experiences that could have turned out really bad, or maybe you got yourself into a situation you would have rather you didn't and would like to share.  

 

I will start....

 

So it was an almost perfect afternoon, and a friend had a day off work to come flying.  I was 50 hours in, so still wet behind the ears, and as my instructor said, experienced enough to get into trouble.  We arrived at the airfield under sunny skies, but the wind was up a bit more than I was comfortable with - and that should have been the end of it.  But we had driven over an hour, and it was his only day off in a while, so I pulled the bird out of the hanger, and prepped her for flight.

 

I won't go into the nitty gritty, but while we were up in our hour long flight, the wind worsened, and shifted to be basically crosswind.  Long and short of it, I took 5 go arounds to get the aircraft down, and although my buddy was having a good time of, I certainly was not.   

 

This was a while ago now, and I am into my 100 hours, but it taught me a valuable lesson.  Don't push my luck.  I should never have taken off in the first place, and I should have listened to my gut instinct telling me the same.

 

If it does not feel right, then it isn't.   I love the mantra of my instructor now.... If there is doubt, then there is no doubt.  🙂

 

Anyways... thats one of mine... Care to share?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

To me it means you need more cross wind experience and not that you shouldn't fly in crosswind conditions.

Be aware of only flying in good weather with good winds.

It locks you in to a very narrow and dangerous skill set.

Going out for day flights and cross countries you WILL run into adverse conditions. 

Either at your destination on upon return.......

Best to have the skills up to handle it....

Edited by Downunder
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To me, it was a good experience to spread to other new pilots with low hours. Thanks for telling it.

I like your quote about doubt. That's rather good.

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Good that you go public on it. Your plane and you each have separate crosswind limitations. ALL planes have a limit on control available and IF you don't coordinate the available control well, you lose the deal anyhow. You need the skillset, the plane and recent practice to get the whole act together, and even then there's the variable of how the wind does it's thing at the very moment you are interacting with it. Going around is  a good decision but requires quite a deal of skill and after a while you get a bit tensed up IF you do a few of them one after another with no guarantee  that the next  attempt will be any more successful. Another option is to find another landing situation where you can get more into wind. Don't forget in the early days the fields were "all over" and you could pick your own landing direction and people flew in the calm(er) periods of the day.  Even Bankstown was an "all over" field in the mid sixties. (except for one strip  available along one area near the hangars for De Havillands bigger stuff arrivals). I recall getting "caught out" when a southerly buster came through and they had closed and locked all hangar doors and battened everything down and I arrived from doing airwork near Hoxton Park in a clattery old Auster, blissfully ignorant of the  changed conditions, and  the somewhat panicky controller told me I could choose my own landing direction. An option  we rarely get these days. (and I was the only aircraft in the circuit. Another plus)… Nev

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My little CH701 is so light it always makes me nervous in crosswinds, I’m getting better but as a last resort I could land directly into the wind if I had to, even across the runway it lands so short! (Not sure what the legal situation would be but better that than bend it!)

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Posted (edited)

Here's a confession of the brash overconfidence of my youth.

 

I had a small company intended to change the microlight world with a new plane of my own design. We built the prototype, and I had done the only flying on it, perhaps half a dozen hours. I decided it would be exciting for my two sons, then aged 6 & 4, to take them up one at a time for a short flight.

 

A word on the structure. This was a rag & tube airframe, swept wing, canard. No enclosed seating area, as with trikes. The 'fuselage' was a pair of parallel tubes, with 1.25" o.d. tubing at each end, forming a rectangle. The seat was a simple hammock (made by my wife on her sewing machine) slung between the two ends. Because my children were so small, their little legs didn't reach the forward crossbar to rest upon. So I tied a piece of rope across the fore-&-aft tubes, and they rested their feet on that. No other structure between them and the ground 2500' below.

 

The flight was uneventful, & I also took my wife up. She did not enjoy the experience, mainly, she claimed, because she kept thinking that her stitching on the hammock seat was all that stood between her and certain death on the unforgiving ground so far below.

 

So in summary I risked the lives of my family on a brand new, unproven design, built from commercial material no airworthy standards, that had undergone no inspection other than my own, using a single ignition 2 stroke with my own reduction drive system.

 

All this was completely legal at the time (1982 in UK), but I still cringe when I consider with the painfully acquired wisdom of my autumn years the foolhardiness of such a decision. Fortunately, my boys were unscarred mentally, & both went on to solo gliders whilst in their teens. My wife has never flown in anything smaller than a 727 since.

 

Bruce

 

 

Edited by Soleair
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You are "indestructible' when you are young.  Accidents only happen to other people. Nev

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Disclaimer: 5 hrs total recently. 

 

I think that a better method than not flying if you are worried about the conditions is to have a specific personal minimum. For example, having a personal minimum of a 5 kt crosswind component. That way, you have half made the decision before you get to the field, and will be less likely to make a mistake when weighing variables about if you should fly or not.

 

Emotions, such as fear, are good overall methods of making decisions. Helping decision making is probably the main point of emotions. However, by taking the emotion out of this particular decision, you will make it less likely that your decision will be swayed by the emotions associated with impressing people (women) or getting home urgently. 

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Ok, a confession of sorts, more of a cautionary tale.
I took a friend up for a fly on a gusty day. The flight went all to plan until the landing phase. As we approached the field, the wind was a bit cross to the runway, but very gusty.
On short final, the plane started an uncommanded left bank. I thought "What have I flown into? Is it some kind of willy willy?" After a couple of seconds wondering what was happening, we were over the side fence of the airfield and about halfway down the runway. I decided that it would be just about impossible to fly back to the runway so I pushed the nose down, gave it full throttle and called "going around".
So what happened? My guess is that I let the airspeed drop and stalled a wing. Fortunately for me and my friend, my training caused me to do the correct response, nose over and throttle. Had I tried to correct the uncommanded left bank with ailerons, we might have been a smoking hole in the paddock.
I have practiced stalls many times, but haven't had a wing drop like that before. It started out gently and I applied a little aileron pressure, but got no response like I usually get. That was when I figured that the plane was out of my control and that it wasn't going to be possible to fly back to the runway.
I have a fair bit of history with go-arounds as I fairly often mis-judge my approach and end up too high on short final. It's my biggest shortcoming as a pilot, but I just go around and work it out. So the point is, I don't hesitate to abort a landing if things aren't to my liking. In this case my comfort with go-arounds save two lives.

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Going round a bit too often beats not going around enough. If you aren't happy get outta there. Work out what the likely cause was  later.  Little planes need more ruddering than big ones. Nev

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On ‎3‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 7:27 AM, derekliston said:

even across the runway it lands so short! (Not sure what the legal situation would be but better that than bend it!)

I'm unaware of anything specifically prohibiting an aircraft from operating anywhere within the flight strip, (the outer 'gable' markers). Even changing the direction to operate diagonally across a runway can have great benefits: it increases the headwind and decreases the crosswind. I've seen aircraft land 90 deg across strips, on taxiways, into adjacent semi-levelled land, into the next door cropped paddock, and onto roads (in the Nullabor)......... as ol mate Richo says   whatever it takes!   Having operated a C170, C180 and RV6 for many years in WA, I've saved my bum more than once by ensuring that any accident, (if it happened), would at least be at very low forward speed.

happy days,

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As a young bloke with about 150 hours I landed after dark using crossed headlights and a car at the other end to aim for. Trouble was they had to cut a gate chain to get in at the behest of Flight Service following my distress call so I got properly reamed out afterward. It was a perfect landing too, wasted on my three pax.

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