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Experimental Aircraft Association

Vintage Aircraft Association


Hayward Executive Airport

2012-Jan-07 : A Windy Saturday (SQL)

Saturday January 7th was a good looking day, but with winds aloft forecast to be out of the northwest at 60 knots, a decidedly windy day. The day before a flyout to Petaluma had been suggested, but Saturday morning after looking at winds aloft forecasts and PIREPS the plan was changed to fly to Hollister. This was going to be soother how? Now wondering and examining more PIREPS on Zack’s most excellent I-PAD it was decided that trip might just be way too bumpy as well. It was decided that some of us would take off to Hollister, but some of us bugsmasher drivers had second thoughts and would make the quick trek over to SQL for a bite. Call us chicken? Harry’s and my Citabria have very light wind loading, as does Zack’s Cub – so the three of us took off with our passengers to the Sky Kitchen while the rest of the group headed off to CVH. Gary and passengers drove over. Curiously, they arrived the same time we did. They felt the wind on the San Mateo Bridge as well! Aloft it was a little turbulent, nothing really bad, but I found myself crabbing nearly 45 degrees into the wind to maintain my course, and downwind at SQL the GPS was showing a ground speed of 170 knots. Wow! After landing a SQL and tying down we enjoyed a delish lunch, great camaraderie – a great time. So, tell me, have you ever wished your airplane had just a touch more rudder authority? The wings down into the wind, the rudder is mashed all the way to the firewall and you’re still drifting off the center line of the runway? That was the case at HWD when we got back, 18 knots, 90 degrees across the runway with gusts to 30, fortunately the wind subsided just a bit within 100’ of the ground and an embarrassing go-around was avoided. Only just. Just remember, you can’t be afraid of the wind, just have a healthy respect for it. When all was said and done some we got some great photos, great chow, great conversation and had a great time. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

--John Buckham
(aerial photography by Ian Marsh)

Nancy and Pat Harry, Ian and Mike
Mike and John Zack and Victoria