This week we worked on landing in gusty conditions. The ATIS reported wind 300 at 8 gusting 10, so I thought it is a slight cross wind from my right when I am on runway 28. Having this mind set, I applied much left rudder. Then Bob asked me to apply some right rudder. As confused as you can imagine, I was not having a good landing.
The problem was this: “the wind aloft is different from the wind near ground”. When I applied a crab angle on short final, I was keeping me center lined. When I get close to the ground, near flare stage, I was drifting to the right of the center line. Even more confused now, because I clearly saw wind sock pointed to the right!!! Really lost about what I should do, I neutralized my aileron but maybe kept left rudder? Which resulted a left pointed nose? I couldn’t still really answer this question, so perhaps I should focus on the end of runway and know where my nose is in relation to the center.
The correct ways is to neutralize the aileron and rudder, wait for the wind to blow me back to center line then slip the airplane to land. We have to land with upwind wheel, to prevent side load from drifting, and we have to get make sure the rudder in opposite direction to straighten the nose. This is a fine art technique, which is very hard to master. I am still on my way.
Now the fun stuff. We just could not descend on final, because of headwind got blown uphill. We kept floating and floating, and appeared to be “very high” from the ground. But all of a sudden, we dropped very fast once we left the hill. The descend rate went up to 1000 ft/min. it’s not scary, but hard to manage when you have non-constant rate of descent. That’s why I said:” even after at least 4 times I landed on 28, I still don’t get the hang of it.”