Today was marginal. A cold front (High Pressure) was coming through that would push all the yucky clouds away but bring us some pretty gusty winds. The reports were calling form 350-010 at 10 kts gusting to 15. We decided since we have had many cancellations recently due to wind that we would give it a shot. The wind was coming mostly head on to runway 3.
As I preflighted, I noticed a couple of times, large gusting winds that rocked the plane quite a bit as well as chilled me to the bone. I decided to leave the plane tied down until we were ready to get underway.
As my instructor arrived, she rushed out and said, “Let’s go ahead as soon as you are ready”. So I released the tie down and we got started.
Everything went fine and we taxi’d to runway 3 for take off. My instructor said that we should increase airspeeds 5 kts all the way around the pattern to account for the gusty winds. This meant, rotate at 55 instead of 50 and climb out at 70 instead of 65.
As we lifted off it was pretty bumpy, you could definitely feel that the little 152 was struggling. Personally, I thought it was cool. As we proceeded around the pattern it became clear that the weather around us was not quite as good as forecast so we decided that we would be full stop on this landing and call it a day. Once on final, I found myself ill equipped for the task as I struggled to hold centerline and approach speed. With a little (or a lot) of help from my instructor, we touched down nicely and taxi’d back. There was another student/instructor pair struggling with the decision to fly and we gave them our Pirep (Pilot Report). They waited around a bit to make a decision and about 20 minutes after we landed, the wind shifted to nearly 90 degrees crosswind at 14 kts. This was above the cross wind component of the mighty 152. So it turns out, we made a good decision today.
I learned a valuable lesson in Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM) and it was good to get up in the conditions to have a feel for what they are like. Even though it was a short flight, many lessons were learned.