Friday the 27th was supposed to clear up in the afternoon, but alas it was rainy and snowy all day. So Mike and I rescheduled for Saturday around 330pm. Right around noon or so, the clouds lifted, the sun came out and it was an absolutely beautiful day. That is until I walked outside. Those of you who have read or watched Winnie the Pooh probably remember Pooh or Christopher Robin carrying or wearing something that gets taking by the wind and they spend the rest of the story searching for it? That's what Saturday was like.
I walked out side and put my hat on a little loose, rounded the corner and almost lost my hat. Before leaving for the airport I chatted with Mike about the winds and he thought that this might be a "ground only" training day. Winds were steady at around 19knots with 30+knot gusts. Then the higher you went the faster the gusts became 40+ knots. For a little plane like we're flying...that'll really knock you around. So a ground lesson it was.
So for twenty minutes we reviewed all the information we've gone over since we started. Since we were on the topic of weather and wind in the area, we decided that would be a great learning topic. We covered just about every topic of weather we could. Not every thing but alot! We covered clouds, wind, fog, temperatures....the list goes on and on. Fog...I never thought about fog before. Except it stinks to drive through and it's there. I never knew there were a bunch of different types of fog, or that they form under different circumstances.
Then after about 40 minutes of weather we started talking about the systems in the plane. We covered most of the systems used to tell you "where" and how "fast" you're going. I'm flying the little 4 place Cessna 172. I've flown two types of this particular plane and even though they look exactly alike from out side they are quite different in respect to each other. One is the O-360 and the other engine is the IO-360. The IO-360 is the fuel injected version, both cylinder displacements are exactly the same, 360cc. But both have just about the same indicators on the front panel.
An hour and half had gone by and we thought we'd check the weather one more time to see how the winds were doing (hoping they had died down a bit). He gave me a couple of resources to use to do this. Both are actually operated by the same organization, N.O.A.A. The first was a numbered we called which is first routed through Lockheed Martin and on to a specific state office. 1(800)WX-BRIEF The second of which, www.aviationweather.gov, is a website that you can get weather reports uploaded by individual airports. After the phone call and weather updates online, it was clear that we were not going flying that day. We have another flight scheduled for this week Friday the 3rd. The forecast is looking good so far. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
2.9hours down a life time to learn!
Some great resources of aviation information are listed here.
Private Pilot Resource Page
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association