Sunday, August 24, 2003


8/24/03 - Hot & humid again, thunderstorms all around but not near the airport. Little CU consistently popping - M said the soaring was great.

But as we were getting ready to go, the t-storm 5-10 miles to the south started blowing up. M could see the dust rising and knew it would get windy, so we cancelled and pushed back. We thought that if we took off and didn't find lift, we couldn't get back down before the storm would finish pushing through. Sure enough, even before finishing tying down, it got really windy. We wouldn't have even had time to take off.

Before long, there was a 30-40 kt wind at 90 degrees to the runway. Two gliders already up had a hard time landing, so we ran out to help stabilize them once they were on the ground. Afterward, I talked with M and M, and their consensus was the student pilot should have chosen an upwind landing, across the airport, instead of going into a pattern and then having to deal with a 35 kt 90 degree crosswind landing. Let's see... normal 50 kt + 15 kt (half the wind) = 65 kt airspeed. Groundspeed would be 65 - 35 = 30 kt, for a nice gentle (but steep) landing. Lots of good learnings even though I never left the ground.

I picked up a book: "Weather Patterns and Phenomena: A Pilot's Guide".

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