Yesterday was my first time taking a non-pilot, non-family member up in the Cherokee 180 for a ride. This was her first time in a small airplane and her first time flying over her home stomping grounds. I was flattered that she asked to go up in the airplane. The flight went very well and she paid me the biggest compliment every afterwards, she said I was “cool as a cucumber.”

That’s what I strive for.

We went up for the flight after the winds died down a bit; the airport had a 10 knot direct crosswind for most of the day yesterday. I took the opportunity to practice some crosswind landings while Mother Nature obliged herself. I’m still not completely happy with my crosswind landing performance, but practice will make eventually make perfect and I’ll get where I want to be. Most importantly, I can safely get an airplane down in a decent crosswind, it just still feels a little overwhelming to me and I usually end up to the side of the center line. I aim for “like a butterfly landing on a hot tin roof” and yesterday it was more like “just keep the liquid in the cocktail.” I didn’t rattle any fillings or break anything, so there’s that.  I came in a little fast on my first attempt yesterday and bounced the airplane. I opted for an immediate go-around and the landings after that were fine, just not as precise as I wanted them to be.

Perhaps I strive too hard for perfection.

This week I’ll be working on landing on a grass strip for the first time and logging a cross-country hour or two.


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