Lesson 76 – Hood Work and Uncontrolled Field Operations

It was hot and hazy yesterday. Visibility was down to 4 miles at the airport so, solo to the practice area was out. Sandy gave me the choice of solo in the pattern or hood work and high maneuvers. I decided on the dual.

We took off and climbed to 2700 feet. Once I leveled off, Sandy handed me the hood and took the controls while I put it on. After a short time flying straight and level, she had me make a couple turns and then descend to 2000 feet. Next, she had me track away from the Northbrook VOR on the 330 radial. While staying on the radial, she had me climb back up to 2500 feet. A few more turns, apparently to get me totally lost, then she had me take off the hood and asked me to fly to Galt.

Coming out from under the hood and being required to find an airport was something new to me and Sandy talked me through the steps to orient myself. First, she had me hold my altitude and do a 360 to give myself time to collect my thoughts. While in the turn, she prompted me to look for prominent land marks. I couldn’t see very far but, I did locate Wonder Lake. Galt is located west of the lake so that was my starting point. I called Galt traffic and announced that I was about 5 miles southwest then I flew toward the lake until I had the airport in sight. Another call to announce my position and request a wind check. I didn’t get any response to my call so, I overflew the field to check the wind sock. The wind was pretty much a direct crosswind but, I thought it might be favoring runway 9 if anything. I continued to the north until clear of the pattern then descended to pattern altitude and turned back toward the field.

I made a good pattern entry but ended up too high on final so I did an early go around. The second attempt was better and I landed OK. We rolled out to the ends of the runway pulled clear. We decided the wind was so close to a direct crosswind that 27 was just as good as 9 so took off to the west rather than taxiing back to the other end. I did two more landing before we headed back to Waukegan. Sandy had been planning this scenario all along and never had intended to do the high maneuvers. She made good use of the low visibility to teach another lesson.