Little X’air niggle

I’m pretty certain that the X’air’s airspeed indicator is under-reading. You notice it at all speed ranges – the aircraft unsticks when taking off at what looks to be a very low speed (indicated 40 mph, possibly a bit less) even with two on board and with 50 litres or so of fuel, when you lower the nose after take off, it takes some time to get an indicated 50mph for the initial climb and when climbing at an indicated 45mph, at what should be the best climb speed, you get get a climb rate of quite a bit less than 500 ft/min. But the time you really notice it is on landing when with 50mph showing, as you approach the runway, it’s obvious that you’re doing quite a bit more than that.

The pitot tube has been snapped off several times (the most recent was when the inspector backed onto it …. ahem :shock:) and the tube now fitted is a bit smaller in diameter than the original. I asked about this on the BMAA forum today but the news from those who know about these things is that pitot diameter is not critical and that if under-reading is happening, it’s more likely to be due to an air leak in the system. Or, I suppose, a faulty gauge although we hope that this isn’t the case of course. So it looks as though we need to track the reason down. I’ll start though by cleaning up and filing the end of the tube into a streamlined profile because apparently that can make a bit of a difference, and I’m pretty sure it’s just been left as a blunt end from when it was cut using a plumber’s cutting tool. If that doesn’t work, though, we’ll need to look at other parts of the system. It’s a pity we can’t fly the X’air alongside MYRO and compare airspeeds but unfortunately I can’t be flying both aircraft at the same time 😉

Four flying days of Easter – Day 4

Today was another almost cloud-free day but conditions were a bit different from the previous three days, being a bit cooler with a brisker wind from the north-west. I got a phone call early on from Ken saying that both he and Peter wanted to get some time in the X’air today, so that became the plan. Peter wanted to talk about training and adding the ‘M’ rating to his PPL the same as I did, so we decided to nip up to Stoke to see if Chris was available to do that. When we took off we could see that it was again quite hazy but conditions were well within the VMC limits and a GPS was not necessary as I now know the local area like the proverbial back of my hand. We flew up to Stoke via the western side of Rochester which gave us fine views of the castle and cathedral and although we took off from runway 29 at Linton, we found that Stoke were using runway 06 rather than 24. We joined overhead and the landing went well until the roll after the touchdown when I had the most incredible experience that I need to share with anyone who flies X’airs in case anything like it happens to them.

We were taxiing quite quickly because with other traffic in the circuit, we wanted to clear the active as quickly as possible. I was wearing quite light trainers today and at this point my right toe became caught under the right toe brake. The results were rather alarming to say the least. If I pushed on the right rudder pedal my toe became more trapped and I almost lost steering control. First we swung alarmingly to the right towards the highish bank that separates the taxiway and runway from the salt marshes. Then as I yanked my toe out from under the brake and effectively had no right rudder for a few moments until I adjusted my foot position again, we swung to the left straight towards all the hangars. Fortunately I then brought things back under control. But not before Karen spotted what had happened, so my landing exploits will be all around Stoke before you know it. Will I ever be able to hold my head up high again I ask myself 😯

Peter and I had a mug of tea and a bacon sandwich and we were able to have a few minutes with Chris as we’d hoped, which gave Peter some food for thought. Then we took off again to return to Linton. By the time we got back, the wind had picked up so it wasn’t possible to take off immediately with Ken. We waited for a time, until shortly after 4.00pm, before the wind dropped a bit and we decided to go. The haze which had got thicker while Peter and I were returning from Stoke had reduced a bit by then and in fact the flying conditions were not too bad. We decided to do a circuit around Maidstone which is something I seem to have done a few times lately and all went pretty smoothly. We landed back on runway 29 and the landing was pretty busy due to the cross-wind, which we seem to keep getting just lately, but nothing that I couldn’t cope with.

As we put the X’air to bed, our 4 flying days came to an end. I was very pleased that I managed to get four out of four because I know that many others in other parts of the country were not so lucky. We were very fortunate ourselves in the South-East to get four consecutive days that were all flyable and I regard myself as very lucky to have got a total of 5 hours 40 minutes in during them. In three days time we will have the same all over again. I wonder if I will be just as lucky again? 😉

Four flying days of Easter – Day 3

The weather has been excellent for most things today – sunny with almost clear blue skies. But not for flying unfortunately, because of the amount of haze that has been hanging around all day. When I checked the aviation weather reports for the ‘local’ airfields (Southend, Manston, Lydd) this morning, all of them were showing visibilities of less than 5000 metres in haze with no significant change expected. I actually headed off for Linton but when I saw the view (or lack of it) from Wrotham Hill, I turned round and came back home again, so I almost started typing this when I got back saying that the day had turned out to be a total washout. But luckily I didn’t 😉

Later in the afternoon, although there was still a fair bit of haze around, it was obvious that the weather was different from yesterday – slightly fresher with a bit more wind. So I decided to give it another go. When I arrived at Linton it was clear that the vis was not fantastic, but was safely flyable, so I got MYRO ready and went off. For some reason my little GPS would not power up properly so I decided to stick to local flying, and having done a counter-clockwise circuit of Maidstone yesterday, I decided to do a clockwise one today. In fact in an hour I managed to get in some flying over the local stretches of the Medway and the locks at Teston and Yalding and also a slow orbit of Leeds Castle, so it was actually a very enjoyable flight.

So all very good – and 3 out of 3 so far, for the four flying days of Easter. Ken wants to go flying in the X’air tomorrow so with a bit of luck it’ll be possible to make it 4 out of 4. That’ll really be a result 🙂

Four flying days of Easter – Day 2

Completely different kettle of fish compared to Day 1! I hadn’t heard from Ken by late morning whether the X’air’s permit had arrived so I decided to get a flight in in MYRO. With the forecast weather being a bit unpredictable it made sense to stick to a local bimble, so I decided to do a circuit of Maidstone in an anti-clockwise direction and in fact ended up going as far south as Paddock Wood. While I was flying, the sky, which had started off this morning totally clear, began to look more and more evil and there began to be more and more updraughts, signalling the development of Cbs (cumulo-nimbus) storm clouds. My timing was just right, because as I turned final to land on runway 11, my screen started to be hit by huge dollops of rain. So I got MYRO back to its parking spot as soon as I could after landing, emptied all my kit out and began to put its covers on with the accompaniment of growling thunder in the background. But I was too late – as I was covering the wings, down came the rain. I was pretty soaked in quite a short time and with just the wings partially covered, I retreated to the car where I sat for about twenty minutes until the storm shower had passed. Then I leathered the uncovered bits of MYRO off and finished putting its covers on before leaving for home feeling a bit damp

By the way, while I was typing this, Ken came round a bit earlier with the X’air’s permit paperwork. It did arrive this morning after all, so the X’air can now start to be flown. That’s the best news of the day – possibly Peter will want to fly tomorrow but Ken wants to anyway on Monday. So let’s hope the weather holds up through to Day 4! 😆

Four flying days of Easter – Day 1

Outstanding! Absolutely fantastic! As I drove down Wrotham Hill heading for Linton I could see quite a large area before me all covered with thick haze, so I wasn’t feeling too optimistic. Flyable, OK, but with the edge taken off because of the haze, a bit like last week-end. And my feeling wasn’t helped when I arrived at the petrol station at Linton to find it closed. I couldn’t believe it, and not knowing where the next closest one was, I decided that I had no choice but to head towards Maidstone…. where there was a parade in the town centre at exactly the same time and the traffic was almost grid-locked as a result. I ended up the other side of Maidstone heading out on the Chatham road and by the time I’d filled my jerry cans and got back to Linton…. where the petrol station was now open again, I’d lost over half an hour.

But all of this was forgotten when we took off. Originally Ken was going to come with me but Peter came instead because up to now, he’s never flown in a microlight before. As MYRO climbed out from Linton I knew immediately that it was going to be a fantastic flight. The sky was totally clear with practically no cloud yet the air was almost perfectly smooth. Usually you get thermic ups and downs in such conditions, but there was almost nothing of that at all. And by the time we took off, the haze had almost cleared as well.

We headed off on a south-easterly heading, towards Lydd and made the coast just a bit north of the Lydd zone. Then we descended to low level over the sea and flew up to Dymchurch after which we climbed and turned left to head for Ashford and the return to Linton. Everything went like clockwork. I got a bit concerned about fuel as the flight progressed and with good reason as it turned out. By the time we joined overhead, where we were almost run down by a stupid GA jockey who was flying where he shouldn’t have been (ie overhead an active airfield, Linton) at a height he shouldn’t have been at (ie 1500 ft), and landed we ended up with only about 7 or 8 minutes more fuel left in the tank, much too close for comfort.

So a great flight but I really do need to get my second tank mod sorted to give me more range and a greater margin of safety. But that’s for another day – what’s left of today is for musing over and appreciating the enjoyment that we were lucky to have had today 🙂

Flying this Easter week-end

For once it looks as though the weather is going to hold and we can expect three or four days of lovely flying weather. Given last week’s experience, I’m not so sure what the vis is going to turn out like though. In past years, whenever we’ve had a particularly cold, wet Winter, we’ve always suffered with haze whenever the sun has come out when it has begun to turn warmer. Whether it’s due to the water in the ground that has become saturated re-emerging into the atmosphere, or just to the coldness of the ground causing condensation in the layer of air that’s in contact with it or even some other reason that I haven’t thought of, the haze has tended to hang around for weeks taking the edge off the pleasure of flying. We’ll have to wait and see what the next few days dish up for us.

As for what we’ll be flying – on Monday I especially pre-faxed the X’air permit paperwork to the BMAA to ensure that there would be no glitches so we’d have the permit back by today. But sure enough, we found that for some inexplicable reason, our inspector had forgotten to include a passenger in his weight and balance calculations! In my conversations with Deddington, I understood that nevertheless, they had reworked the numbers themselves and that all was OK. Then I thought they said they’d issue the permit anyway as all the numbers checked out. However, true to form, when I checked, the paperwork was still being held in a queue and this morning I was told that the weight and balance paperwork still had to be signed by the inspector! I queried this and very kindly, Jo who does the permits called me up a little while later and said that the permit would be coming out by First Class Post this evening.

So now we’re sweating on the Post Office getting it to Ken by Saturday, the problem being that tomorrow is, of course, the Good Friday Bank Holiday, and if it doesn’t arrive in time, it will not be delivered until Tuesday, losing us the whole of this extended four day week-end! We originally wanted to fly all four days, giving Ken and Peter a chance to experience their aircraft for the first time (albeit with me as P1) and now we’re waiting on tenterhooks to see if that will be possible. If not, it would have to be the following week-end, which is also a four-dayer with the royal wedding and the Spring Bank Holiday on the Monday and also Popham for one of the days for us, but looking that far ahead, who knows what the weather will be like. It would be just our luck for it to be abysmal, losing us another week-end 😯

So I’m planning to fly MYRO anyway tomorrow and Ken says he’d like to come along too. As the wind’s forecast to be from the south-east, I’m planning a flight to the south coast, to Dymchurch, one that I started but had to curtail because of poor weather a few weeks ago. So let’s see how things actually turn out 😉

Whitstable video

I’ve made a video from last week-ends camcorder footage. No proper sound because I’ve still got to resolve my sound problem which I now think is down to a fault in the camcorder’s mic socket.

The video is in the Video Gallery or you can click on the pic below to see it.


It was a brilliant flight, despite the haze. Can’t wait until the next one 😉

Cracking week-end, brilliant finish

After enjoying the satisfaction of getting the X’air through the permit procedure yesterday, it was almost too much to ask that I’d get a great day’s flying in today as well. But I did!

I really enjoyed dropping into Stoke yesterday and I’m so glad that I’m moving MYRO up there in a few weeks time. The absence of camaraderie really detracts from Linton as a place to fly from and I got fed up with constantly being the only one flying there week after week and month after month. But camaraderie is something that Stoke has in spades, along with a bit of banter, some leg pulling, in fact all the things that go together to make up a lively club. One of the things I enjoyed yesterday was bumping into Tony H-S and his wife Rosemary. We’ve been exchanging messages for months now on our blogs and the microlight forums but the first time we met was two Tuesdays ago at the first Stoke club meeting that I went along to. It was good to see Tony and Rosemary again at Stoke and I look forward very much to the opportunity to get better acquainted in the future.

But what about today? Well, high pressure is in charge of our weather just now so we had another settled day with sunshine, clear skies and not too much wind. So I decided to top up MYRO’s tanks, take the spare fuel with me in a jerry can and head off up to Whitstable. My plan was then to drop down to low level for a bit heading west along the shoreline, then to climb over the Swale estuary to the northern side of the Isle of Sheppey. Then I wanted to repeat the low level flight I did last week down towards Sheerness before climbing again to cross over the Medway estuary to the Isle of Grain and a landing at Stoke. Then, after the mandatory chin-wag, mug of tea and slice of cake, to head back to Linton via the west side of Rochester.

The flight went perfectly as planned. The vis on the return legs was rather poor because of the sun combining with a low-level haze layer but it wasn’t that bad and anyway, my little GPS makes it easy to maintain a course with very little effort. I landed back at Linton just as John was getting his AX3 ready for a local flight and in the time it took me to put MYRO to bed, he was up and down. I finished off with a few cups of tea from a flask that I’d taken with me, a ham and pickle sandwich, a packet of crisps and a crunchy Braeburn apple before heading off home. A perfect end to a great microlight-flying week-end, I think 😉

I took the camcorder with me but was unable to use the connection lead because of the sound fault that’s bugging me that I think is due to the mic socket in my camcorder. The recording is pretty good and includes my landing on runway 06 at Stoke, so I’ll see if I can put something together to include here on My Trike. So watch this space 😀

At last! X’air back in the air

After nearly 3 years. Today was the big day. I got involved in getting PW sorted for re-permitting over 2 months ago. It’s been a long haul, but it whizzed through inspection except for a couple of minors 2 weeks ago and today after getting the exhaust back on after a little bit of welding it was signed off by the Inspector for its check flight. I had already got the same check pilot who flew MYRO for me standing by on a phone call’s notice and after taking the main wheel spats off PW temporarily because we found they were binding a bit on the new (apparently slightly larger) tyres, I found myself taxying out for its ferry flight over to Stoke.

Brilliant feeling when I took off and began to climb away. As this was not only PW’s first flight since July 2008 it was also the first flight since the engine was completely overhauled, so I did a climb up to cruise height while keeping close to the field just in case. But everything was going like clockwork, so off I went. The X’air is obviously from the same family as the AX3 except it’s a bit bigger and heavier so it’s not quite as lively in the air. It’s still a stick and rudder type aircraft that needs you to fly it all the time though, but not to the extent of the AX3.

The old Icom A3/Comunica comms set up that’s installed wasn’t performing that well so I had to join overhead to find out which runway was in use as I’d forgotten to ask before I took off. Typically, as this was my first flight in the X’air and my first landing in it, it had to be runway 24 that I’ve never landed on before. Chris had a student up in his Quantum so I slotted in in front of him in the circuit. Compared to landing on 06, the electricity pylons are a bit closer to you on the final approach to 24 and next time I’ll make sure I do a bit more of a dog-leg instead of landing straight in. But I’m glad to say the landing was pretty good, if not a greaser, even though I say it myself. The crowd at Stoke love to pull your leg though and said they thought I was trying to park the X’air in the hangars, which are all lined up pretty close, but not that close, to the side of the runway, directly on landing. But I just remained totally aloof from their remarks about my display of supreme piloting skill. I got off the runway pretty smartly and held while Chris did a touch and go, taxied to the small parking area and handed PW over to Martyn the check pilot. I took the attached pic to record the occasion after he’d started her up and just before he taxied off.


Martyn came back after 30 minutes and said he was very pleased with her so that was PW signed off for permit. 8 or 9 week-ends of hard work but it’s days like today that make it all worth it. I took off and headed back to Linton and found that the vis, that was not that good going up to Stoke, was now a lot worse and it wasn’t helped by also having to head towards the sun. Mind you, it might have helped if we’d thought to give the screen a bit of a clean before leaving for Stoke in the first place. But now I know the local features and landmarks I found Linton without too much trouble. Ken had driven over to Stoke and we’d met up after I’d landed and he’d watched me take off for the return journey. Peter though was still waiting for me back at Linton. I ended up a bit too high on final – compared to the AX3, the X’air does tend to float a bit more and lose height a bit less readily I think. Unless you give it a bootful of sideslip, that is, which is what I did. If anything, the X’air slips better than the AX3 and I think you can lose height quite a bit quicker. So I did manage to get in very nicely in the end and stop with a bit of brake in about a half of the runway.

So a great day all round. Mission accomplished. The X’air will be permitted and flyable in good time for next week-end, so I’m happy and relieved at the final outcome 🙂

Fabulous flight!

The weather wasn’t quite CAVOK but was almost, with a bit of a breeze coming in from the north-east. So nothing else for it – today was the day to do the low-level Isle of Sheppey flight. And wasn’t I glad that I did! Here’s a pic of the flight I’d planned, which I followed more or less to the letter.


My idea was to take off from Linton and head up past Faversham to the Isle of Sheppey. Then I planned to descend more or less to sea level and fly westwards all the way along the island’s northern shoreline, keeping 500 feet away from any people, boats etc, all the way to Sheerness. Then I’d climb back up to 1500 feet or so to cross the River Medway estuary over to the Isle of Grain for a landing at Stoke. After a spot of light refreshment, I’d than take off again and return to Linton via the northern and western sides of Rochester.

And that’s exactly what I did, and in some excellent flying conditions; not perfect because of the gusting north-easterly breeze, but still very good indeed. I didn’t take my camcorder because it definitely has a sound fault that I need to get fixed and although I took my small stills camera, the vis wasn’t quite up to it, despite the fact that the flight itself was so memorable. I tanked MYRO up beforehand and then strapped a jerry can with the fuel I had left over onto the seat next to me. The whole flight would have been marginal on the single tank and there’s nothing more useless when flying than the fuel you left behind you back on the ground. And with a stop planned at Stoke where it could be added to the tank, the extra fuel would give me the additional margin and reserve that I needed.

And so I took off on runway 11, yet again the only aircraft flying in such gorgeous conditions at Linton, what’s been the story the whole of the time I’ve been there. I climbed out on a north-easterly heading up to 1300 feet or so but with the lift I kept encountering, I eventually got as high as 1800 feet on the leg taking me up to the Isle of Sheppey. I passed overhead Leeds Castle which is now looking a bit more Spring-like but whose moat has a nasty stagnant look to it from the air. There were a few wind buffets that tipped the wings a bit and were a bit disconcerting after last week-end’s rather scary experience but I settled down and relaxed after not too long. After all, you can’t let one negative experience ruin your enjoyment, can you.

I began to slowly descend as I crossed the Swale heading across to the Isle of Sheppey and by the time I got to the island’s northern coast was at about 1000 feet. So I then turned left and began my descent towards the sea, for the part of the route taking me up to Sheerness. In fact I only went down to a minimum of 50 feet, unlike when I went to Hastings and my GPS track after the flight indicated a height in places of -3 feet! And mostly I kept to about 100 feet, mainly because of the rather gusty breeze coming off the sea. But this still kept me below caravans lined up along the cliff-tops and the Coastguard radar scanner looking out at ships in the Thames Estuary. Just like last time, lots of small kids out with their Mums and Dads gave me friendly waves as I flew past, and even quite a few bigger ones too 😉

As I approached the northern tip of Sheerness I opened the throttle and began my climb to 1500 feet to cross over the Medway Estuary to the Isle of Grain. With Thames Port on my left I’d already switched to the Stoke radio frequency expecting to hear lots of chatter, but instead – nothing. Well, not quite nothing but not far off. I thought I might have programmed the wrong frequency into my radio but just as I prepared myself to join and land non-radio, I heard another aircraft. So then I just called up and landed on runway 06 – an interesting approach with the funny gusting cross wind and bits of lift and sink on final, but safely down and with nobody else behind me, I did a fast taxi with the nose wheel up off the ground up to the far end of the runway. So that was the first part of the flight – one hour and five minutes of glorious microlight fun 🙂

Shortly after I’d shut down, sorted MYRO out and was heading for the little cafe, Chris the Instructor and Examiner who I did my GST with last year landed in his Quantum with a student. It turned out that it had been very busy earlier this morning but now everyone had gone, leaving just him and me with MYRO as the only active aircraft on the field at that time! I booked in and then ordered a nice cup of tea and a buttered scone which I consumed sitting outside in the warm sun. What a lovely way to break up a flight. Shortly afterwards, Chris began briefing for an air-experience so I decided I might as well get myself ready and head off back to Linton. I signed out to save coming back to the clubhouse and then went off to add the fuel in the jerry can to MYRO’s tank. Then I carried out a quick (but thorough) inspection, got in and was off.

One final surprise was that as I was heading west away from Stoke, Chris came up on my left hand side with his air-experience flight. After a cheery wave, he headed up and away and I continued off on my way to Linton. That’s the first time for very many years that I’ve had company from another aircraft in the air and I’d forgotten what good fun it is flying with someone else close by. A short while later I skirted round the Rochester airfield zone and not long after that I was over Teston Bridge with the lock a few hundred yards upstream of it. Then it was time to spot Linton, which I easily did, and join for a landing back on runway 11. That went off safely and after I’d tied, covered and put MYRO to bed I sat down in the shade under a wing and enjoyed the flask of tea and snack that I’d taken with me. A great way to end a fabulous flight 🙂

Just to finish off, I won’t spoil the memory of a great afternoon’s flying by giving any more details at the moment, but one of the reasons why I dropped in at Stoke is because I’m now a member there. In fact, my time at Linton is coming to an end and I will be moving MYRO over to Stoke as from June 1st, if not slightly before. I can’t wait. It’s a very friendly airfield and club, much more active than Linton and with far fewer ‘restrictions’ than apply at Linton which take away much of the pleasure and fun of flying there. I’ll tell more later, but for now I’ll just think of today’s flight as one especially to look back on with pleasure. What microlight flying is all about, I reckon.

Weird wind

This post is all about today’s flight, but first a few words about yesterday. I got hold of the fuses that are needed for the X-Air and also the various sockets and plugs that we need before deciding what will be the best to fit. The previous owners had a GPS that was connected by a cable that just hangs down below the panel but it isn’t compatible with the GPS that Ken has. So we have decided just to remove it and as the X-Air approved wiring has an ‘aux’ socket, we will fit either a car cigar lighter socket or a DIN socket instead in one of the holes left by the voltmeter that we removed previously. We decided to leave it for now though, until the X-Air has been signed off from its permit inspection, hopefully next week-end. Unfortunately, the exhaust wasn’t back from its re-welding so after refitting the newly re-painted main wheels and spats, that was all we could do on it this week-end.

So now on to today. The weather forecast looked very good – broken cloud, sunny spells and winds from the south-west at about 12 mph with the occasional mild gust. So I planned a flight down to Bexhill during which I’d descend to sea level and fly all the way along the seafront from Bexhill to Hastings before turning left to return to Linton. The cloud turned out to be roughly 4/8 broken cumulus with around a 2500ft cloud base and the wind roughly as expected. However, as I flew south the conditions began to change, and alarmingly so. The cloud cover changed to 5/8, say, and although the wind continued from the south-west it began to produce some of the most powerful gusts that I have ever experienced in a microlight aircraft. At one stage, a gust was so severe that it lifted the right wing and I had the aileron hard over onto the stop with the wing still lifting. Even though I was able to put in a boot-full of right rudder to help counteract it, it wasn’t a very nice feeling at all and at the time, because there had been little or no warning, with no signs of the gusts building beforehand, I even wondered if it was due to something having gone wrong with the aircraft or its controls. Not very nice at all flying with full right aileron and having to control the bank with rudder which, fortunately, the AX3 has in plenty. And to top it all, there were also some areas of fairly extreme lift under the patches of low cumulus, even under some of the small, quite innocuous looking bits, that had MYRO shooting up at 1000ft/minute or quite possibly more, every now and again.

The powerful gusting happened a couple more times, but not as severely as the first, so I thought it a good time to curtail the flight and head back north away from the coast. Although I still kept experiencing some quite extreme lift as I dodged under the patches of low cumulus, I didn’t have anything like the same problems as before with the wing lifting in the gusts. This may have been because with the wind coming from the left and with me in the left seat, MYRO was inherently a bit more stable. I got back to Linton with no further major incident and joined overhead to land on runway 29. It was very clear from the approach that the wind had picked up considerably from when I’d taken off, which it hadn’t been forecast to do, and there was quite a strong left cross-wind needing quite a lot of crabbing on final. But anyway, I increased my approach speed to cope and had the knowledge that if necessary, I could land on the long main runway if I needed to, but I landed safely anyway on the shorter winter runway.

I had the camcorder running during the flight and made a nice recording of the landing. Unfortunately, despite renewing the Lithium batteries in my headset, there is still a problem with the sound so unfortunately that’s something I need to investigate further. If I can put together a half-decent ‘silent’ movie later on, I’ll include it on the Video Gallery.

Today was a real learning experience. I don’t know where today’s weird winds came from but I saw for the first time just how disconcerting strong, gusting cross-winds can be when you’re flying a small light aircraft and it’s an experience that I’ll not forget in a hurry 😯