Friday, July 20, 2012

A new airport and some serious crosswind practice

Plane: Cessna 150 
Route: 40I-HAO-40I
Weather: Overcast, 70 degrees, wind 020 degrees at 10 knots gusting to 16

I originally had the 150 booked tonight to fly up to Wapakoneta for one of my friend Marty's famous BBQs. However, that got postponed and I was left with a few unplanned hours in an airplane. A quick glance at the weather - or trees, for that matter - got the gears churning in my head and it wasn't long before I figured it would be a great evening for some crosswind practice.

Late in the afternoon I glanced over my Sectional and saw that Butler County Regional Airport in Hamilton had a perfect runway alignment, oriented directly perpendicular to the winds. Although I've flown over top of HAO before, I never had landed there. Crosswind practice and a new airport? Sounds good to me!

A good workout under the semi-low ceiling (about 1,000 feet above pattern altitude)

It was a quick flight over from Stewart, especially with a slightly quartering tailwind. I was entering the pattern on a 45 for a left downwind to Runway 11 less than 15 minutes after takeoff. There's a hill just NW of the airport that you sort of fly around during your base-to-final. With the strong winds out of the north, this made for some good bumps and swirling air currents on final.

I ended up making four landings at Butler Co. Three were good - firm, but perfectly acceptable for crosswinds close to the little 150's demonstrated limits - and the fourth (which was actually my third in sequence) was... well, I got the airplane on the ground safely. I enjoy a good crosswind landing so tonight was lots of good practice. It was certainly a night where you couldn't shy off in making the airplane go where you wanted it to go. If any students are reading this, pay attention - instructors aren't kidding around when they teach you that!

Practice complete, I departed straight out for the short flight home. I actually passed through some light rain in two spots while cruising at 2,000 feet. The clouds looked pretty low but I checked the local AWOSs and they were indicating ceilings around 3,000 feet. It's fun to cruise along relatively close to the clouds, though - gives you a nice sense of speed. Nobody else was flying at Stewart so it was a quick entry into the pattern followed by one final crosswind landing.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 1.2 hours
Total Time: 221.8 hours


  1. Nice flying Steve ... and I even noticed my house (sort of) at 5:34 point in the video on the right side of the cowl. Wave your wings next time! ;-)

    1. I knew you were somewhere close, just didn't know exactly where the casa was located. I'll definitely try and wave hello next time!

  2. It was fun watching your video. It has been more than seven years since I last flew into Butler County. Was fun to see your video of it.

  3. Nice job Steve. Now if I could only knock out my night landings so quick and stay night current.

    1. Thanks! And yeah, I haven't logged night time in 1091 days - sheesh. Gotta love how Logshare so easily lets me know that, though! :)