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Thread: wind in Montana and Dakotas

  1. #1
    JMBreitinger's Avatar
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    wind in Montana and Dakotas

    Is it always this windy out there?

    My partner left Saturday for a long anticipated trip to Montana in our Cub. He was planning to pick up up the Lewis and Clark trail in Mobridge and to follow it to Great Falls, then meet up with some friends in the central part of the state. He got blown out. Today was his fourth day in a row of winds of 28 knots or better. Monday, he got hit with 40 kt gusts while landing in Miles City. He flew 20 hours in four days and never landed in less than 24 knots.

    He dealt with it well for a guy with only 25 hours in the airplane but came out of it totally demoralized. He said that he lost confidence that he could get the plane home in one peice. I flew out to meet him this morning in our Mooney. We bummed around for part of the day, then I flew the Cub home. I have to say that I found flying in that wind about as much fun as riding a motorcyle in the rain.

    It made me feel like a student again. It has been a long time since I took off already worrying about the landing.

  2. #2

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    You kinda get used to the landings, but it.s the bumpiness of the flight I hate, kinda like driving in an 80 acre pasture, that has 1 million badger holes! Matt

  3. #3
    moneyburner's Avatar
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    Reporter "Does the wind blow much where you're from?"

    Will Rogers "Why, it sure does!"

    Reporter "Well, how hard does it blow there?"

    Will Rogers "Well, it blows so hard that if you open your mouth, your pants will fly off!"
    Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum videtur

  4. #4
    SJ's Avatar
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    John,

    When you learn to fly in it, you get used to it. Yes the wind blows like crazy in the plain states. We had 32kt gusts yesterday when we went to pick up a Citabria. While on a ferry flight in Wyoming, 40kt gust were the norm during the day. USUALLY it lays down in the morning and evening, but not always, sometimes it kicks up.

    I would not sign off a solo student in Kansas City unless they had flown with me in pretty significant direct x-winds - especially in taildraggers. It is just par for the course around here.

    There are times of the year when it is clamer, but now is not one of them.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  5. #5
    JMBreitinger's Avatar
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    We get very high winds here too, just not every day. I found it pretty tiring. I am curious what you would consider to be the limit. I have flown the Cub a fair amount in 20 - 25 knot winds but don't find it to be that much fun. Over 25, I like to leave it in the barn.

  6. #6
    SJ's Avatar
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    25 on the ground often means 40+ on the nose around here if you are going anywhere even just 500' above the ground. In Wyoming, when I was whining about all the wind after wrestling a 170 to the ground feeling like Hulk Hogan, the FBO people looked at me like "Wind? What wind?"

    I have a rule. I fly because it is fun. When you are getting the crap beat out of you in the air it is no fun. If it is strong on the ground but not beating you to death above, that can be fun.

    But then, all the Montana guys think I am a sissy anyway.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  7. #7
    centmont's Avatar
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    I spent the day with the cub in Lewistown...flew around the patch to warm the oil...then some more after looking for leaks. It was 72 deg., winds variable <5 mph.... a beautiful warm sun. I can't imagine nicer weather and tomorrow is supposed to be the same. Thermals... hell yes...when I hit a big one I just looked around for the inevitable kettle of hawks.

    John... tell your friend not to forget to look in on the back country airstrips in the Missouri breaks... he'll enjoy the last stretch of the Missouri left as Lewis and Clark saw it. What wind? Ralph Rogers, Central Montana.
    "Entropy just isn't the same anymore"
    www.TheCubWorks.com

  8. #8
    JMBreitinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    I have a rule. I fly because it is fun. When you are getting the crap beat out of you in the air it is no fun. If it is strong on the ground but not beating you to death above, that can be fun.

    sj
    You and I see it the same way.

    It was wierd today -- not all that bumpy 1,000 AGL but felt like being in a too small boat in a following sea. Felt like I was wallowing the whole time, constantly getting shoved around. Three hours worth was plenty.

  9. #9
    SJ's Avatar
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    The problem with living out here in the middle of nowhere is that all the fun places to fly are 3-10 hours away in a cub, so the beatings (by wind) will continue until moral improves...

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  10. #10
    JMBreitinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    The problem with living out here in the middle of nowhere is that all the fun places to fly are 3-10 hours away in a cub, so the beatings (by wind) will continue until moral improves...

    sj
    That is the first thing that you have said that I disagree with (though I know it is obviously tounge-in-cheek). I have had more fun flying locally in my Cub than I have had since in an airplane since I started flying.

    I am at a place in my life, where I have a hard time staying as involved as I need to to feel safe and proficient flying single pilot IFR in the Mooney. For most of the last eight years, I have really enjoyed going places in that airplane. I have flown it all over the country. I have been lucky enough to be able to use it to support my business. For a variety of reasons -- my family does not like to fly with me, my business is now more local, etc... it does not fit life as well as it used to.

    Enter the Cub. I can go fly it for an hour or a day around here and really have fun. In spite of the fact that I have ended up with more capital invested in the Cub than I have in a pretty deluxe Mooney, it is as cheap to operate as an airplane can be. The perma-grin condition that it induces is tough to put a price on.

    I need to sell one of them. I don't think it will be the Cub. But I don't see it as a good cross country airplane.

    I think my next airplane may be a 180 or 185...

  11. #11

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    This spring we have had more 30mph winds than average. The wind blows for a week straight sometimes with gusts to 40 plus. It can take the fun out of everything. On the positive side, we have had very few bugs to mess up the plane. The mosquitos must have a relatively low demonstrated cross wind, because they just disappear.

    Bill
    Flat Country Pilot
    Farm Field PVT
    54 C170B

  12. #12
    SJ's Avatar
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    John,

    Certainly I enjoy flying around the home area as well as we do have some fun places. But once you have been to Canada, or Idaho, or Alaska, etc, etc, you just want to go back and get more of it!

    FCP, I think you are right about the mosquitos! :P

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  13. #13

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    Evening recreation around here is slow flight into the wind and watch your backward progress. Cross wind landings/takeoffs and ground handling are the first and continuous lessons.

  14. #14
    mvivion's Avatar
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    John,

    You'll pick up speed in the 180/185, but if you want religious experiences in crosswinds, those airplanes can deliver. Nothing dangerous, but more demanding than the Cub by a ways. Spring steel gear has lots of surprises for the unwary.

    MTV

  15. #15
    kase's Avatar
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    Should of stayed one more day.

    KBIL 221356Z 20006KT 10SM FEW110 12/06 A3024 RMK AO2 SLP223 T01220061

    KBIL 221120Z 221212 27007KT P6SM FEW110
    FM1500 15006KT P6SM FEW100
    FM2200 06008KT P6SM VCTS SCT070CB BKN110
    FM0300 05007KT P6SM FEW100

    KMLS 221353Z AUTO 15004KT 10SM CLR 15/06 A3025 RMK AO2 SLP232 T01500061

    KMLS 221120Z 221212 VRB05KT P6SM FEW120
    FM1700 14010KT P6SM SCT100
    FM0100 09010KT P6SM VCTS SCT070CB BKN100
    FM0700 13007KT P6SM SCT110

    KLWT 221354Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM FEW100 14/07 A3024 RMK AO2 SLP215 T01440067

    KLWT 221120Z 221212 12007KT P6SM SCT100
    FM1600 VRB05KT P6SM FEW150
    FM1900 03007KT P6SM FEW070CB SCT150
    FM2200 02007KT P6SM VCTS SCT060CB BKN120
    FM0400 VRB06KT P6SM FEW070CB SCT110

  16. #16
    JMBreitinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kase
    Should of stayed one more day.
    Story of my life.

    Poor Keith was so demoralized after the fifth day that his state of mind was not good.

  17. #17
    Speedo's Avatar
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    John:

    With a constant speed prop the cub makes a fine cross country machine. I've done Albuquerque to South Bend in one day (with one stop), and South Bend to Lone Grove in 3/4 of a day (with one stop). The CS prop really makes a difference, and there's no short field performance penalty. The 180 and 185 are faster, but they're a lot thirstier, too. Even on my long trips I rarely need the extra room a 180/185 would offer.

    Eric
    Speedo

  18. #18
    12Geezer2's Avatar
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    Sometimes that flatland wind is your friend. Heading for home from the Minot area a couple months ago the gps was reading a fairly steady 158 mph Just glad I was heading east. Cross country ??? love it in the cubs --Life goes too fast for me most of the time anyway. Eau Claire to Farmville,Va.last summer out there in one easy day and return the next --not so easy dodgeing rain showers --but what a fun way to see the USA

  19. #19
    mvivion's Avatar
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    John, I've been thinking about the situation you described, and the way you described your partner's attitude.

    Remember, it's not just winds either. John, iIf your partner is getting REALLY bummed by being stuck somewhere for five days, remind him of the old epithet:

    Got time to spare?? Go by air.

    The biggest enemy of the VFR pilot (and the IFR pilot) is get home it is.

    Recently I was weathered in in Red Deer, Alberta. On day two, one of the flight instructors at the school there was sympathizing with me, and noted that it was a real bummer to be "stuck" somewhere by weather.

    I pointed out to him that sleeping in a hotel, complete with cable TV, eating at a pretty nice restaurant, and drinking cold Canadian beer is NOT what I consider "stuck".

    Stuck is sleeping in a tent or a snow hole at -45, and the dang white gas stove doesn't want to light cause the fuel won't vaporize well.

    It's all perspective. That's what this type of flying is all about--smelling the roses. Get handed a group of wind, go to a museum. See the sights, drink beer, whatever. If you don't feel comfortable flying, there'll be another day. Sounds like he did the right thing in any case, which was to get help.

    If your partner REALLY MUST get home on a certain day, keep him out of little airplanes, cause sooner or later, if he doesn't adopt the right approach, he'll hurt himself, and maybe someone else. Or at least compliment him on his appropriate decision to call for assistance. Or jump a jet.

    Life is too short to pass by all those roses......

    Just a thought.

    MTV

  20. #20
    JMBreitinger's Avatar
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    Keith was not as much worried about getting home as he was not bending the airplane. It was an unfortunate situation. He was just starting to feel good flying the airplane and this wiped out his confidence. He actually went off the runway in Miles City or Lemon. His attitude held up pretty well for the first five days. He actually had a lot of fun meeting pilots in the small airports. He is a very contientious pilot and really felt over his head.

    I got a small taste of it coming home. The wind for my departure was nearly 30 knots and it was dramatically stronger just above the ground.

    Yesterday, I flew the Cub to Cedar Rapids and had a great time. I flew a total of five hours -- a lot of it in still air. I went down there at 300 - 800 AGL the whole way. Came back quite a bit higher since it was dark.

  21. #21

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    MTV,

    I like your outlook on being stuck. Sounds kinda fun with cold Canadian beer. Not the -45 Part, I would rather be stuck at home with hot coffee.

    Bill
    Flat Country Pilot
    Farm Field PVT
    54 C170B

  22. #22
    mvivion's Avatar
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    John,

    Thanks for the update, and as I noted, it sounds like he has the right approach.

    As for punctured egos--the old story goes, "there are those who have and those who will". If he's been off the runway cause of wind, he can now put that in the "been there" category, and try to figure out what he could have done different to avoid it next time. And, the answer to that might simply be to not fly in that much wind.

    I'm still adapting to the wind down here. Us interior Alaska types aren't used to herds of wind.

    Then again, count your blessings. He could have been stuck somewhere in the mountains, with that much wind at ridge height.

    As I noted, there's always perspective, and it's most always better to be down here, wishing you were up there, rather than up there, wishing you were down here.

    MTV

  23. #23
    kase's Avatar
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    Should of stayed 2 more days.

    KBIL 231856Z VRB06KT 10SM FEW065 27/04 A3019 RMK AO2 SLP192 CB TCU DSNT SE-S T02720039

    KBIL 231720Z 231818 22008KT P6SM SKC
    FM2100 34012KT P6SM VCTS SCT070CB BKN120
    FM0300 04006KT P6SM FEW100 SCT250

    KMSL 231853Z AUTO 02005KT 10SM CLR 29/19 A3009 RMK AO2 SLP181 T02890194

    KMSL 231736Z 231818 31010KT P6SM VCTS SCT050CB BKN140
    FM2000 01004KT P6SM BKN140
    TEMPO 0912 3SM BR SKC
    FM1500 04006KT P6SM BKN150

    KLWT 231854Z AUTO VRB03KT 10SM CLR 22/03 A3024 RMK AO2 SLP216 T02170033

    KLWT 231730Z 231818 VRB06KT P6SM SCT200
    FM2100 31011KT P6SM VCTS SCT060CB BKN100
    FM0400 VRB06KT P6SM SCT100
    FM1200 VRB06KT P6SM SKC

  24. #24

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    wind

    If you want to fly in eastern montana you better get use to the wind, It could be calm out then in a split second you could have winds up to 40, you just have to get use it. It makes you appricate the good days a little more.

  25. #25

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    Re: wind in Montana and Dakotas

    yep...I learned to fly in Minot, ND. Flew there for 3 years....usually a great place to fly....severe clear most of the time...lotsa flat to put one down if ya need to, but its often very windy.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMBreitinger
    Is it always this windy out there?

    My partner left Saturday for a long anticipated trip to Montana in our Cub. He was planning to pick up up the Lewis and Clark trail in Mobridge and to follow it to Great Falls, then meet up with some friends in the central part of the state. He got blown out. Today was his fourth day in a row of winds of 28 knots or better. Monday, he got hit with 40 kt gusts while landing in Miles City. He flew 20 hours in four days and never landed in less than 24 knots.

  26. #26
    S2D's Avatar
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    Wind in this area is only relevant to the numer of spray jobs I have on the books. As soon as I get caught up, the wind quits blowing. Always happens last part of June.
    AFNB

  27. #27
    kase's Avatar
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    I dont think the wind has blown over 10 mph since John started this thread.

    METAR KBIL 290156Z 20005KT 10SM FEW090 33/01 A2996

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