Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sometimes it's too real...

After a somewhat lengthy hiatus from Flight Simulator, I took back to the animated skies a few times last week. My short-term goals are to master flying in less-than-stellar weather. It can get pretty boring to just have clear skies all the time and no turbulence on descent. On the other hand, I have to balance my need for adventure with the risk of frustration of crashing after investing so much time into a flight.

So, to reduce the level of possible frustration of crashing in bad weather on landing, I have decided to do all the experimentation of bad weather flying on short flights. I started, of course, flying the short (albeit amazing) hop between Mendoza and Santiago.

The takeoff was typical, although I did find myself relying on the instruments entirely to determine the pitch of the aircraft since I was enveloped in cloud cover and could not see the horizon. After I climbed over the cloud cover, the rest of the flight was rather smooth over the Andes.

However, upon descent I was forced to fly into a misty and gusty patch of air right before the Runway 17 in Santiago. The change in weather was so quick that it altered my approach significantly enough to affect my touch down, as evidenced below:
Sparks!!! My left wing clipped the runway shooting off a whole set of sparks and the plane made a godawful sound when that happened. Luckily, I was able to taxi off the runway and to the gate. So, mission half-accomplished.

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