Lesson 90 – Hotter Day Pattern Work

We considered several options to deal with the yesterday’s heat. I could go solo or we could do some dual to review high maneuvers since the air should be cooler at higher altitude. One of the CFIs put together a new training presentation on the KAP140 auto pilot so, we could do some ground school and stay in the air conditioning. But, there was some wind blowing so we decided to put up with the heat and do landings.

Sandy came out as I was finishing the preflight and proposed a twist. The other Skyhawk had been at the mechanic’s shop in Kenosha and was ready to be picked up. If it was OK with me, we would fly up there, do some pattern work and then I would drop Sandy off. She would fly one airplane back while I came back solo in the other. It sounded good to me but, when we listened to the ATIS, we found that the wind was gusting to 15 knots. That is beyond the wind allowed by my logbook endorsement. We both thought I could handle it but, in the end, we made the conservative choice and let two of the other CFIs go get it.

We did six full stop landings over the next hour. The gusts were bouncing us around pretty good so I was working hard in the pattern and on final. The days when I have to work the hardest seem to be the ones when I learn the most. This one was a very productive lesson.

With the checkride close, Sandy was very picky about every detail. For example, she wanted me to exactly track the yellow line while turning off the runway (something I have been careless about). I guess I must be doing OK on the big things if she is nit picking the little things.