Learning Experiences

July 2001 Issue

Obvious Hints

‘Loose items were flying around the cockpit and our heads were hitting the canopy’

I never should have learned this lesson because I never should have made the flight. Mother Nature decided to demonstrate several of her most unnerving weather phenomena.

We were planning a flight from Los Alamos, N.M., to Amana, Iowa, for a weekend fly-in. We expected wind over the entire area of the flight for most of the planned weekend. Because of the length of the flight, we planned to leave Thursday so as to be rested when the festivities began.

The Los Alamos airport is at an elevation of 7,150 feet and is a “one way” airport. Takeoff is to the east and landing to the west, regardless of wind. As we drove to the airport from about 30 miles west of Los Alamos, the wind was causin...

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