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Winds blow and knowledge grows

Sometimes you need to change your instructional plans in real time. Yesterday was a good example. We had 6 knots of direct crosswind and I was flying with a student with a grand total of 12 hours. In addition, the ceilings were relatively low so we couldn’t get high enough in the practice area to do stalls and falls. Consequently we stayed low and worked on ground reference maneuvers. The winds were perpendicularly aligned for S turns across a power line which allowed 5 complete maneuvers one after another. We then did turns around a spot brush fire on a construction site in the woods of SC…the student could actually see the wind and his groundtrack. In South Carolina it is very difficult to find a rectangular field, so we used the opportunity of no other fliers to circumnavigate the perimeter of the airfield for our lesson on crab corrections. Finally, we did repeated patterns in the crosswinds that resulted go arounds on all but one pattern. Final turns were overshot or too high. The downwind leg got too close and resulted in a high, short base leg. Finals required a sideslip landing, giving the student a new challenge. In the end…lots of learning in one hour of constant adjustments for wind. Good stuff.

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