Winter is in full swing over most of North America, and so with it brings a natural lull in flight activities. The clouds are full of ice, and the winds come up regularly to strong gusty levels. With only one good flying day since my last flight to Lancaster, and with the transponder issue needing to be corrected, I’ve not had much of a chance to head into the sky.
I used to be afraid of winds in the 15 – 20 knot range. Now, I am no longer afraid of the winds, but I choose not to fly when the winds approach 20 knots on the ground, since they’re almost always stronger aloft and that makes for a poor ride. Nobody likes to fly in turbulence, and the light wing loading of a general aviation single makes the flight totally unpleasant.
But spring is coming. Soon, there will be warmer days, calmer winds, lighter winds aloft and less rain. Then the thunderstorms begin, though thunderstorms are less of a contention when you fly in the mornings (a big reason why I choose to do so). Still, I plan to fly a few times this winter to exercise the plane, exercise the brain and preserve the skills I worked so hard to perfect over the summer.