bertie's blog
bertie's blog
Age: 46
Home: Bournemouth
Occupation: pilot
Blog Description
A successful 2007 Rally! Flying in France again.
My Aircraft...
Description: Luscombe Silvaire, 8E, Nov 1946. Silver/Blue.
Location: Near Compton Abbas, North Dorset, UK.
last days
October 2006
Flying Moments...
First solo in Hong Kong.
First visual approach in a 757.
First display.
Managing to attract 28 Luscombes to the first ever Luscombe Rally!
Too many to mention!
Additional Information


Friday, 20 October 2006
I awoke, yesterday, to a wet and windy morning, my first day off back in Blighty, typical! Today, I was to meet a friend in the avaiation world due east of my Strip that Brug is based on. He was driving and I was flying!

Later that morning, the rain was replaced by patchy blue sky but the wind still howled..

Having arrived at the strip and observed the wind sock, which remained horizontal, I considered the conditions; A gusty 20-30 knots from the SSE, runway alignment 25/07 again- typical!

I entered the hangar, hugged Brug and told her I'd missed her. { I know, that's sad.. } Reglardless of the conditions outside, I sensed she was up for it .

With the engine now warming up she rocked considerably in the gusty conditions and I thought about how to approach the challenge ahead. I noticed with some dismay, that my Pitot tube cover was blowning back and the ASI registered 30mph without moving, hmmm..

I decided to take advantage of the 5 mph headwind and elected to take off on 07 which, although was turbulent, proved uneventful. Rather than get caught out on my return, if conditions deteriorated. {the f'cast was of further rain later..} I decided to execute a couple of approaches onto either runway end. flying downwind to 07 and observing 30' of drift confirmed about 30 knots from the south, this will be interesting. Turbulence was moderate all the time, so I flew at 80mph to reduce loads. On turning onto finals, adding 5mph to improve roll control and maintaing a slightly highr profile it bacame apparent that turbulence had increased to severe in gusts. The ASI was fluctuating by as much as 20 mph and RPM was up and down by 300/400 to try and keep her stable. Having studied the topography when aloft it came as no surprise that the hangars were causing the trouble. At around 50' even with full aileron to control roll, the right wing was still lifting and only rudder could bring the wing down, thank goodness wev'e got some Dihedral! Once on the deck, the Luscombe has no problems {true consswinds reduce by a 1/3 generaly }. I took off and completed another approach with similar consequences and felt very uncomfortable and came to the conclusion that this was Brugs' absolute crosswind limit, determined by turbulence { generaly unpredictable conditions} resulting in a touch down point 50' in length! I then approached from the east onto 25 and accepted the 7 mph tailwind and, due to the absence of buildings, turbulence remained moderate and roll control improved but still unable to exactly pinpoint the touch down point, now down to 20' in distance, again Brug was a beauty on the ground. I then flew off to meet my mate for a cuppa and returned later in rain but much more at ease{ no surprises } to complete an unevenful landing on 25, still with winds of 20 knots or more. I gave her a huge hug, put her covers on and put her to bed. { and no, I didn't say goodnight.}

What did I learn? Well, this was first time I've flown her in strong SSE wind conditions at theis strip and now have adequate knowledge of all strong wind conditions around this strip. I'm fortunate that I know Brug well and relieved that I practice flying her in all conditions but I never stop learning! It seems to me,that, under these conditions to question whether the journey by air is necassary as the take off is always so much easier than the landing, it must be quite frightening to discover that the landing will be twice as difficult once you are in the air! One can't keep adding more and more speed to improve roll control, as you'll never land anywhere near the correct touchdown point. Don't be afraid to use lots of rudder to maintain control- essential.If roll control is still difficult to control near the ground, say below 50' {even using rudder } then go around- even if it entails a turn {unable to get the wing down}. Using the opposite end, is, with a tailwind, a common remedy to a safe landing. In hindsight the taxi way {check out the photo with the Luscombes, this shows the strip, hangars and Easterly approach well } which is about 200' long, in these conditions might have proved helpful but wasn't sure as to how much the smaller hanger and tree were blanking it, so I didn't. As it turned out it would of worked. The final option, would be to divert, although, unfortunately most airfields are east / west! Or even better and safer , find a large, dry field [Lots of them around } without Cows in it {and near a pub} and land into wind. Again I've learn't a lot, conditions do change from departure time to arrival time and I now know what the Luscombe and this strip can produce. The field option, not too far away, is well worth considering. Flying from on top of a hill, on a shortish strip which has steep rising terrain from the western end, is a challenge and conditions change quickly during the day. I passed on my experiences of yesterday to Martin [G-KENM} by phone, to pass onto the others at the strip, as this type of turbulence {highly unpredictable} from the SSE is some of the most violent I have ever experienced. Hope to Polish off my Auster/ Luscombe friend today, as it's a breeze compared to yesterday!

Keep those wings level!


Nige posted @ 08:05 - Link - comments