My flight today started with more steep turns, and I'm finally starting to get the hang of them. All but one of my turns were good, with altitude, speed, and roll-out all staying within limits.
The flight started with a very cold pre-flight. I had gloves this time which helped, but there is no protection from the wind. Pre-flight doesn't take long, and in short order I was in the cockpit out of the wind.
Winds were at 10 knots from 310 degree, so runway 32 would have a tinny crosswind. A couple days ago we had our first snow and the runway and taxi areas were covered in patches of packed snow. I wanted to see how this effected landing so I would begin the day with a touch-and-go. I found 63L very light on her feet, and even just with the light packed snow on the taxi way I could feel a bit of slide as we taxied. Takeoff was quick, and with wind directly in front of us 63L climbed quickly. We were at the pattern altitude of 1,800 feet before I finished my turn downwind. My landing was like any other although I did notice with the packed snow it felt a little different.
After my touch-and-go I departed to the west to practice. Around Orfordville I turned south, did some clearing turns to look for traffic, and went right into steep-turns. My practice had paid off as I started out good. Most of my turns today were within limits and my biggest problem was overshooting the turn. After doing several good turns, I found myself right Lake Summerset. I felt I should work on some other items, so I decided to turn a box turn around the little town. I then did a few S-turns, and then headed into Beloit.
Over Beloit at 2,500 feet I flew along the river toward the airport. My 10 knot wind had slowed to 8 knots, but still plenty for some crosswind work. Tower put me on runway 32 for my initial approach. During the flight to the airport I stuck the camera to the window and snapped some shots of Burwood Park—the Garage's subdivision. In the picture for today, the Garage is directly in the center of the shot.
After a normal touch-and-go on 32, I asked Tower if I could get a runway from crosswind work and took 22. This gave me a crosswind of 90 degrees to the right. My first approach was pretty normal. On finial I had established a good crab into the wind to compensate for the crosswind. As I crossed the runway threshold I dropped my power to idle, ruddered out of my crab and dropped the right wing. I got each of these steps correct, but I landed about 30 feet left of center. So in the subsequent landings I worked on getting the landing closer to being on the center line. By my last landing of the day it was looking really good.
It was a really nice day for flying. Bumpy in places around 2,500 feet, but the skies were clear blue and the land covered in a blanket of snow. Everything is really pretty right now, and it is great to be seeing the world form the air.