Windy pilot's report.
Please forgive me for mixing up knots & mph here, it’s just the way I roll. I generally use mph for airspeeds and knots for navigation and all that “official” stuff. It works for me.
Yesterday, I took a little 150 mile hop to see my daughter, Jen and granddaughter Mackenzie. The winds at my departure, KMDH, were pretty much straight out of the south and I had a nice tailwind at 3,500 feet. True airspeed of about 180 mph. My GPS was showing a ground speed of 185 kts so I was really clipping along. When I got to Champaign, KCMI, things were getting interesting. The ATIS said the winds were 190 degrees, 18 kts, gusting to 22. They were using runway 14L, so that gave me a hefty 80 degree crossswind. Yikes! I wasn’t sure if I was able to manage this and was fully prepared to just head back home if warranted. My final approach was fast, about 105 mph. I experimented with a slip to keep the nose pointed straight but the right wing was so low I didn't think that was going to work so I just crabbed all the way down until I straightened out for touchdown. I was probably still doing between 95 & 100 mph crossing the numbers, but somehow I was able to pull it off and keep it on the runway. Whew!
A couple of hours later, now the departure seemed intimidating. The wind had really picked up and was now 170 degrees at 18 kts, gusting to 27 and they were using runway 22 for departures, giving 50 degrees of xwind.
My Q-200 has a nice strong engine and I was able to accelerate quickly. It’s funny what goes through your mind, but half way through the takeoff roll I was thinking “New Quickie pilots shouldn’t do this”. Understatement. I held it down as long as I could, then quickly brought back the stick back so I could leave the ground without any skidding. All went well. Of course, now I paid the headwind penalty on the way home and my ground-speed dropped to 133 kts.
So, my trip north took 55 minutes and coming back was an hour and 15. Back at Carbondale, the winds were a balmy 190 kts at 18-22, landing on 18L and everything was relatively smooth.
It was a good day.
Q-200 ~2,070 hours