Wind, I hate you

9:02 AM Friday, August 27, 2010

I really thought I was going to get to solo yesterday. Well, the wind had other things in mind for me. The unwritten rule of soloing is that you take your instructor up and show them that you can handle a couple of landings in the conditions on that day, then you drop them off and you go by yourself a couple of times. I knew the wind had been pretty unpredictable so far that day, so I was trying not to get my hopes up so that I wouldn't be disappointed if it didn't happen.

We started off in Tim's office and he signed off on all my stuff except the final endorsement for solo. I went out and pre-flighted. Once Tim was in the plane we started up and listened to the weather. Winds were 250 at 03kts, no problem, I could handle that. I radioed that we would be taxing to Runway 21. Another plane came back that he was lining up on 15. Tim asked me to taxi out so we could see the wind sock. Sure enough it was calm, calm wind runway is 15, I radioed in the change in plans and headed to 15. As we were taxing out, a wind came up that pushed us on the taxiway. The first bad sign of many. I did the run-up, all was well. Radioed my take off and lined up on the runway. Off we went. As soon as I rotated we were getting pushed around, I took a look back and sure enough that wind sock was active. We stayed with the pattern for 15 for about 3 times, then we decided we needed to switch to 21. Made the switch and I now had a bit of a crosswind from the left. Next time around I had a crosswind from the right. I was doing my best to keep up with the changes, but I just wasn't doing it quick enough or well enough that I could go by myself. I agree with Tim's decision not to let me solo, I was uncomfortable with the changing wind and would probably have turned down the chance at a solo if he had given it to me.

I was very disappointed that I didn't get to solo. However, I feel that Saturday is a great day for a solo flight, lets hope for calm winds, or at the very least consistent winds.

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