Wow !! What a day. Today was my review flight. All day long the wind was gusting really strong. I couldn't get much time at work today to check the weather in detail, so I headed out in the evening anyway to the airport. On my way to the airport I got a call from the instructor saying that it was pretty gusty and if I had not started, then perhaps we should postpone, but then it was a bit too late. So I went there anyway :)
Turns out, by the time I reached the airport, the winds had calmed down a bit, so we decided to go on with the review of whatever has been done till now. So off I headed to do the preflight. It was getting dark outside and my flashlight turned out to be handy. It's also started to get a little chilly outside, oh well... time for some warmer clothes. As per the ATIS winds were 330@8, not as strong as during the day 330@12 gustin to 22kts.
With the engines running and plan of action decided, it was taxi time. Seems like I am getting pretty comfortable with taxiing. Very few mistakes while taxiing.
As soon as we took off, the winds started showing their strength. It was quite difficult to keep it climbing at Vy and heading straight at the same time. Today my instructor showed me how to transition through another airspace, alebit another class D airspace. Then we did some VOR tracking again my first. Well actually I've been playing flight sim for over an year now and since its well suited for IFR, I've done a lot of virtual flying with VFR tracking. In real life, the needle seems to be a little bit more sensitive, but otherwise it was pretty easy. Due to the strong headwind, it seemed like forever for us to reach the VOR station. IAS was 95 kts and we had headwind of 34-35 kts.
After doing some simulated IFR, we climbed up to 3500 ft and reviewed slow flight, stalls, etc. I did a fairly good job at it I guess. I was glad that even in strong winds I was able to maintain my altitude, attitude and heading fairly well.
Time just flew by and it was time to head back. Its tough findng your way back at night, so my instructor showed me some neat tricks and signs to locate my whereabouts :) Approach was pretty normal, windy but normal.
The final approach was different today. Given that there was no traffic around the airport, tower asked us to report 2 mi out at left base for rwy 4. While approaching the turn to final I realized that the runways don't show up unless you're almost in line with them. So concerned I made a really steep turn on final and was soon warned by my instructor never to do it again. Point well taken :)
Landing was a bit whizzy with winds trying to blow us one way and me trying to get the airplane the other. But ultimately touch down was ok and I did land on the runway .. :)
So all in all it was a great night of flying and with 31.2 hours under my belt I am another step closer to soloing.
Till then, blue skies