When you fly in Kingman…
you have to fly in the wind!
I learned to fly RC with the Ventura Comets, in Ventura, California. It was nice group of guys with a paved runway on the shore of Lake Casitas, in the mountains above Ventura.
The weather was AWESOME there! I could fly on almost any morning and the temperature, year ’round, was pleasant. We WOULD have to be out there in the morning to be assured of calm winds… and often, about 10 AM, the winds would start to kick-up a bit… but in the summer, those kind of heavy, humid days, when it feels like you can almost see the air, we could fly all day long.
Then, in 2005, I moved out here to Kingman. While shopping for a home, in MAY of 2005, I did make note that the wind was screaming all day long. My Realtor said that “Kingman was settled by pioneers moving west, and they decided to stop here, in what was to become Kingman, and wait until the winds died-down before they moved on… and they are still here today… still waiting!”
Windy? … Count on it!
So when you fly your models at the field… you have to be ready for the winds to kick up. It can come out of nowhere and surprise you!
Anyone who has seen me out at the field knows that I don’t mind the wind… to a reasonable degree. These days I am flying my .40-powered 3-channel Sig Kadet Senior and my old O.S. .46-powered Goldberg Skylark.
That Kadet is fun because it can fly so slowly that, in a brisk breeze, it can seem to hang there, motionless, in the sky. I don’t think I’ve seen it fly backwards, yet… but when landing, it can seem to drop gently to the pavement while at zero miles an hour. If the wind IS blowing, I usually cut the engine as soon as the plane comes to a stop instead of trying to taxi across the wind. That Kadet will be tipped-over, maybe flipped-over, in a strong cross-wind.
The Skylark just cuts through the wind… no problema! When the wind is blowing at ten or twelve miles an hour, or more!, landings “look funny” as the plane doesn’t seem to be moving at the right speed while on final approach… and if there’s a cross wind, I have to fly it in, every inch of the way! I just have to “know” that the model always flies well at this throttle setting while on approach, and trust in that fact as I drive it to the runway surface.
You have to be careful when the wind is blowing. Even if the wind is coming straight down the runway, it may be tumbling and rolling in invisible currents that will knock your airplane around when you get close to the ground. “Just stay with it!” and keep flying your model through those bumps and gyrations.
Winds can become Cross!
You probably take-off into the wind… and fly the pattern based upon your take-off direction. You have to be aware of the wind at all times… and especially at landings… as, sometimes the wind will shift-around and now be a cross-wind as it’s time to land. A couple of weeks ago I wasn’t paying attention and I lined-up my Skylark on final approach and it felt like my radio must be screwing-up… the plane was being crazy as I got near the ground. But I hung in there… I was tough, I didn’t go around again… I forced it down… safe and sound… and then it occurred to me “Oh yeah, the wind is coming across the field now.”
Have fun at the field… Enjoy the wind!