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