Sunday, November 9, 2014

One More for the Road

Winter is coming and so will my trips to Canada.  Less time at home and cruddy weather meant I wanted to get one last short flight in today.  Luckily the weather system at hand is a slow-moving front at the center of a low pressure zone.  Lots of overcast and cool temperatures, but for now the winds were light, and a fairly consistent direction.  Good enough day for a quick flight around the neighborhood.

I took a passenger this time and we stayed low, just about 1,000 feet above the ground to stay out of the bumpy winds up higher.  But a great altitude for just putting around and visiting the Billings airport for a couple of touch-and-gos.

The entire country experiencing fair fall
weather except for our Northern Rockies
Like the past few flights, I concentrated on the pattern, approach, and landing.  Fly pattern at 90 knots, then reduce power abeam the touchdown point (not the end of the runway), maintain 80 knots to the base leg, then more flaps and reduce to 70 knots.  Keep 70 all the way down final and save the last notch of flaps for the last 50 feet.  Let airspeed drop to 60 over the threshold and power to idle.  Then a nice, smooth flare to touchdown.  Sounds so simple.

It all clicked again today, and though we kept it short to stay out of the weather, a great flight before what will likely be another dry spell for a while.

The cold - it's coming.

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