Flight Training - August 2021 - 14

PREFLIGHT FLIGHT LESSON
BY BRENT FARWICK
A CAUTIONARY TALE
THERE'S NO CLOWNING AROUND WITH WIND SHEAR
WHAT HAPPENED
" The airplane dropped
somewhere between 20 to
30 feet, and at the same time,
a gust hit the tail and sent
me sideways and dipped the
left wing. "
low approach to feel it out. It was still
bumpy, but doable, so I set myself up
for landing. I listened to the automated
weather observing system (AWOS)
about a dozen times. Each reading was
a different wind direction. I should
have waved it off at that point, but I
continued on.
On final approach, I could feel the
gusts, and the wind was coming from all
directions, so I carried some extra speed
and only one notch of flaps. With 4,000
feet of runway uphill in an Archer, I had
plenty of time to stop.
I crossed the numbers and got a big
THIS PAST MAY, I TRIED TO FLY HOME TO TENNESSEE FROM
Florida in my Piper PA-28 Archer II. I filed under instrument
flight rules and for the route I wanted. Clearance gave me
" as filed, " which was to the north, and I was hoping to come
behind a storm. Well, air traffic control vectored me east, and
I ended up getting put underneath that storm and eventually
had to stop in Macon, Georgia, and drive home.
Later that week, I flew with some friends to go pick up my
airplane in Macon. The flight there and back was unremarkable.
Smooth air, quiet ATC frequencies. Just perfectly chill.
I dropped one of my friends at an airport close to his house
(winds calm, pressure 30.00 in Hg), then traveled on 26 miles
north to my home airport. En route, I listened to the automated
weather observation system at my home airport (winds
320 degrees at 9 knots gusting to 20, 30.06 in Hg). On the first
listen, my assumption was I would land on Runway 5 with a
crosswind, but I've done more challenging than that before.
Then I started thinking about the pressure and wind difference
and how drastic it was in just 26 miles.
I flew at 4,500 feet, but as I descended through 3,000 the
turbulence started getting pretty violent. I thought I'd do a
14
FLIGHT TRAINING AUGUST 2021
WEATHER
IN THE WIND
Wind shear can
be caused by a
frontal passage,
thunderstorms,
temperature
inversions, or terrain
features. Pilots are
taught to counter
wind shear by
recognizing situations
in which it is likely,
increasing their
approach speeds, and
being spring-loaded
to climb. Watch
this video to see
in-cockpit footage
of a wind shear
encounter (aopa.org/
ft/windshear).
downdraft. The airplane dropped somewhere
between 20 to 30 feet, and, at the
same time, a gust hit the tail and sent me
sideways and dipped the left wing. Wind
shear. I came closer to the ground than
I was comfortable with, nose high and
sideways. The extra speed saved me.
Given the same conditions again, I
don't know if I would have had the same
outcome. I put in full throttle immediately.
I got the airplane stable again
and climbed out, and I went back to my
friend's airport, which was reporting
calm winds.
I am writing this as a cautionary
tale. Look at airports around you before
you land. What are their METARs? If
there are drastic differences in winds
and barometer readings, something's
up. I assumed the AWOS was having a
glitch since the earlier flights that day
were so smooth. I'll not clown around
with that again.
TOP LEFT: ALEX WILLIAMSON; ABOVE: STEVE KARP
http://www.aopa.org/ft/windshear http://www.aopa.org/ft/windshear

Flight Training - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - August 2021

Contents
Flight Training - August 2021 - Intro
Flight Training - August 2021 - Cover1
Flight Training - August 2021 - Cover2
Flight Training - August 2021 - Contents
Flight Training - August 2021 - 2
Flight Training - August 2021 - 3
Flight Training - August 2021 - 4
Flight Training - August 2021 - 5
Flight Training - August 2021 - 6
Flight Training - August 2021 - 7
Flight Training - August 2021 - 8
Flight Training - August 2021 - 9
Flight Training - August 2021 - 10
Flight Training - August 2021 - 11
Flight Training - August 2021 - 12
Flight Training - August 2021 - 13
Flight Training - August 2021 - 14
Flight Training - August 2021 - 15
Flight Training - August 2021 - 16
Flight Training - August 2021 - 17
Flight Training - August 2021 - 18
Flight Training - August 2021 - 19
Flight Training - August 2021 - 20
Flight Training - August 2021 - 21
Flight Training - August 2021 - 22
Flight Training - August 2021 - 23
Flight Training - August 2021 - 24
Flight Training - August 2021 - 25
Flight Training - August 2021 - 26
Flight Training - August 2021 - 27
Flight Training - August 2021 - 28
Flight Training - August 2021 - 29
Flight Training - August 2021 - 30
Flight Training - August 2021 - 31
Flight Training - August 2021 - 32
Flight Training - August 2021 - 33
Flight Training - August 2021 - 34
Flight Training - August 2021 - 35
Flight Training - August 2021 - 36
Flight Training - August 2021 - 37
Flight Training - August 2021 - 38
Flight Training - August 2021 - 39
Flight Training - August 2021 - 40
Flight Training - August 2021 - 41
Flight Training - August 2021 - 42
Flight Training - August 2021 - 43
Flight Training - August 2021 - 44
Flight Training - August 2021 - 45
Flight Training - August 2021 - 46
Flight Training - August 2021 - 47
Flight Training - August 2021 - 48
Flight Training - August 2021 - 49
Flight Training - August 2021 - 50
Flight Training - August 2021 - 51
Flight Training - August 2021 - 52
Flight Training - August 2021 - 53
Flight Training - August 2021 - 54
Flight Training - August 2021 - 55
Flight Training - August 2021 - 56
Flight Training - August 2021 - Cover3
Flight Training - August 2021 - Cover4
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