The day started at 0700 well below minimums, but the forecast was for better weather at 10.
They were right.
Clear to 7000 but with a wind at 330 at 7 knots. Cool.
Did the preflight, found water, drained a bit more, found just a trace of water, called the hangar guy, he drained a LOT more, we let it settle, no water. OK!.
Takeoff was pretty good, we flew south and did some turns. The wind made it a bit harder to do ’em smoothly, but I managed. S-turns with the wind weren’t too bad, but then the gusts started. 7 knots gusting to 27. I still made a decent s-turn both starting to the left and to the right, although my altitude control could have been better. I now see why this is a skill I need to master.
Turns around a point were ok, but could have been better. I kept my distances fairly well, but the gust made that a LOT harder than it should have been. Again, my altitude control sucked. I was up and down around the circle, gaining and losing about 200 feet. We also did some practice approaches flying with a road as a simulated runway from 3000′ to about 1500 feet. Again, the wind made me work to keep my course. This was the first time I felt like I was fighting to maintain my course.
Then we did some pattern work, The gusts were more frequent. and my approach was ok, but my course control as I flew over the runway at 100′ was…lacking. Again, I was fighting the gusts. Mike decided to do the landing and demonstrated a crosswind landing on runway 36, with the wind at 320. I understand the concept but need some practice to maintain my heading like that.
My taxiing continues to improve. One thing I did was to hold onto the dash with my left hand so I didn’t start to try to steer with my hand instead of my feet…until I needed aileron to fight the wind.
I’m also figuring out when to use the nosewheel and when to use the brakes to steer, and when to blend them.