Simulated Bad weather and landing at near by airport

6/5/15 Once again Tom surprises me with an unexpected  scenario like unexpected weather.  “Henry weather is getting bad fast, what do you do?”

I respond, ” Land at a near by airport”.  Tom says “OK, what airport”?  I struggle to get my map out of my bag  in the back seat( it should be near me at all times!). I looked outside and aligned my position with my map. The best landing option was to land at Greenwood Lake  4N1 airport.   Tom said take us there ( surprised, I was going to land at 4N1, really?!?!! for the first time).

As I  headed that way, I look at my map for additional airport information: Landing pattern 790 (1800ft), Com 122.9 and RP 6-(Right landing pattern for runway 6). I was low so I increased my altitude above flight pattern as Tom announce our position. I began looking for wind direction without looking at the on board instruments for help. I could feel where it was coming from. Tom pointed out the wind sock and I was right. I had to land on runway 6 and entering a Right Pattern.  I had a hard time seeing the airport on my right and lost some focus on reducing speed,  10 on flaps, trim for air speed etc.  Tom announced Base position on radio and I continued to reduce speed, add flaps and trim for speed.

As I approached  runway 6 for landing , I was low enough but too fast so I went around. climbed up to pattern altitude and made right on down wind( this time I was  more comfortable). Tom called in all pattern legs and I maintained my aircraft in the correct landing configuration. It was a nice landing/full stop. We taxied off runway six made a right on taxi way and  headed to runway 6 for take off (couldn’t do a Touch and Go, runway was too short, for me anyway)

What did I learn: You cant get comfortable with landing at KCDW expecting to see, hear and feel the same thing at another airport. Like Tom always says ” You cant take it with you”.  Always be prepared! Charts at hand, aware of your surroundings and expect the unexpected! Know where your at! Check weather! Every airport is different unlike KCDW. STAY FOCUSED….

My thoughts: This was an excellent training lesson! The fact that it was unexpected taught me a lot! Great learning experience.