Those readers in the Chicago area know all about the extreme weather we had yesterday afternoon. For those of you who live elsewhere, it was a period of severe thunderstorms and near hurricane force winds. The Waukegan airport was spared the worst of the storms but, it was still not flyable for training after about 3:30 PM.
Sandy and I knew the storms were coming and, considered canceling yet another lesson. At 2pm though, the sky was mostly blue, winds were about 12 knots and the line of storms was still well to the west. I had already missed two lessons because of weather and I don’t want to have any very long layoffs at this point so, we decided to go out in the pattern even if it was only for a short time. I did a quick but thorough preflight and we got going.
The air was bumpy and we could clearly see the storm line to the west as we flew the pattern. I ended up doing five pretty good landings with the wind getting stronger with each circuit. By the time we did our last one, lightning was visible just outside the class D airspace and the wind was gusting to 22 knots. We taxied in, tied down the airplane and made it inside just before the rain started.