Lesson 23?
20 January
1.4 hours

Drafts--up & down.

Got rained out yesterday, but today was sunny, with almost no clouds.

AWOS said the wind today was 320 at 10, but it felt stronger.  The windsock was nearly straight out.  There were no gusts, just the steady wind.

Takeoff was interesting.  With the wind almost straight down the runway, it was all headwind, so we were up to 60 knots almost imediately, and had climbed to 1000 feet AGL while still over the end of the runway.

Up at 2500 feet, there was still little turbulence.  But what there WAS was up- and down-drafts.  Several times I was holding straight and level--and suddenly found that the altimeter was winding up or down 300 or 400 feet.  Once I was trying to decend 500 feet--had throttled back and eventually pulled the throttle all the way to idle--but the plane just wouldn't go down.  If I'd been alone, it would have been fun to try circling in the updrafts, to see how high they'd take me.

The most interesting thing is that I couldn't FEEL that we were in a draft--had to see the effect in the altimeter or vertical speed indicator.  There was no bump or other giveaway that I could notice.

Later we tried slow flight.  At 40 knots, we were making forward progress, but not very fast.

Teaching note:  When we got back to the terminal, Adam's next student--a woman who lit up when she saw him--was already there.  That reminded me to I ask Adam if the student who wanted him to guide him on the controls was male or female.  Adam grinned and said, "He wanted me to, and she wanted me to."  So in this small case study, at least, that seems to take care of sexism.

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