First, the foggles: turning ascents and descents, then tracking to the Flat Rock VOR, and finally, recovering from unusual attitudes. That took care of the instrument-time requirement (and, I hope, the proficiency requirement, too!).
Then we headed in for some landings--and that's when things got a little more interesting.
The wind was 290 at 11 gusting 18, so it was going to be crosswind-landing practice on runway 33--about 12 knots' crosswind component with the gusts.
As we were entering the pattern, Adam noticed a plane ahead of us on a wide downwind. But we'd heard no call from it on the radio, and we couldn't figure out what it was going to do. I thottled back a bit and followed it. It flew well past the point where a normal base leg would begin, and I decided it wasn't going to land. Just then it turned base. I extended. The mystery plane got lined-up on final, and Adam said it did a touch and go. I missed seeing it, though, because I was turning base (left base) and also had to watch out for a helicopter that was on right base for landing on the taxiway, just to the right of the runway.
Adam said to do a soft-field landing--he hadn't heard AWOS's gust info at that time--and I did, but found that the crosswind was a lot more interesting than the soft-field problem.
We then did two more "normal" crosswind landings, continuuing to dodge the mystery plane, which kept flying around in the pattern without ever a peep on the radio.
On both of these landings I began slipping well out on final and was able to get the feel of that technique better than ever before. The last of the landings went quite well--Adam even said it did. Kept the upwind wing down and the nose straight down the centerline, and touched down softly, without any tire squeak at all. Felt good, and now I'll be looking for crosswind landing opportunities, instead of avoiding them.
Time for lunch. And then--it the weather cooperates--to get ready
to fly to Newport News tonight
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