Update: Here are some pictures that I snapped on my solo cross-country to KWJF on 6/19/11
I’ve gotten to the point in my training that I have begun to branch out to other airports. That’s right…I’ve started the cross country portion of my training. Today my instructor and I planned to fly to William J. Fox airport (KWJF) for lunch. I would have loved to get a cheese burger, but I’ve given up meat for lent. I went with the fish tacos, which weren’t too shabby.
So food choices aside, it wasn’t too great of a day to be out and about. Here is a weather outlook for KWJF airport:
Weather Conditions (KWJF):
- Temperature: 69 °F
- Dew Point: 43 °F
- Wind: 27 mph (WSW) Max Gust: 36 mph
- Pressure: 29.90in
I called 1-800-WX-BRIEF to file my very first flight plan. Our flight briefer told us there was light to moderate turbulence reported along our route of flight. I could certainly vouch for that statement; we hit an updraft on the way that made me feel like I was riding a roller-coaster.
We passed by Edwards Air Force Base on the way. It was pretty cool to see the runway where the space shuttle and SR-71 landed. The base has a runway that is over 15,000 feet long. I could land my little Cessna 172 trainer there about 4 times before I ran out of runway. Of course after I did that Homeland Security would be asking me some questions in a brig somewhere.
On approach we contacted WJF tower and they told us to “make straight-in traffic for runway 24. Report over the freeway”. When we were over the freeway we called them, reported in, and they said, “Cleared to land runway 24. Wind 280 at 23, gusts 27, caution wind-sheer”. After that radio call I knew I would have a handful trying to get this plane on the ground. 40 degrees crosswind deflection with over 25 mph winds isn’t quite my idea of fun just yet. The plane made it out in one piece, but I can’t take the credit for the landing. My instructor had to help with the rudder controls because I wasn’t making enough correction for the wind.
During lunch we saw an old Russian MIG doing some touch-and-gos, and some pretty cool US Forest Service aircrafts there but I didn’t bring my camera with me on this trip. Next time I head back there I’ll snap some shots of the neat things I see.