Originally Posted by Daddyjoe
You would have to post that just a couple weeks before I fly to AZ. :roll:
You should be flying into good wx, the winds do that around april, and a bit into may. In the summer the thermals can be brutal, the fall is the best season, followed by winter if you don't venture into the high country. I've had quite a bit of puker factor moments flying in all seasons hile training out here, it's never boring, that's for sure!
Losing all visibility on takeoff and climb, having to depart on instruments (all windows fogged and iced completely when i climbed through a low inversion layer, wasn't IFR rated, but i credit studying IFR procedures on flight sim to saving my life) losing a Dsus on a cowling directly over 8000' mountains, outrunning thunderstorms, battling turbulence all the way to the ground, a bad winds aloft forecast, wind shear from hell, blown off the runway about 50' into the air on landing roll by freak gusts, caught in mountian wave rotors and beat bloody in the cockpit, putting to use lost aircraft procedures after being blown 40 miles off course by rotors, ATC vectoring me into wake turbulence, circling the field watching until the sock favors one runway for long enough to get it down. And that's all in one day (plus a lot more stuff, i call it "adventure flying").
One day i was out a bit late, it got dark before i made it back, on the way back to the field, just at dusk, i had an exhaust collar fail, disconnecting the muffler and heating the firewall from the exhaust leak. The right rudder pedal got too hot to touch, my shoe would melt when i touched it, and i guess it had the same melting effect on the wiring, because shoetly thereafter i had a complete electrical failure, no power to anything, dead stack, no panel lighs, nav lights, landing light, stall horn, nothing. Fortunately i was only about 20 miles out and had the field in sight. Listening to my revs and slipstream i scanend carefully for traffic, made a pattern using the runway lights as my only reference, it was a moonless night, and mad probably one of the smoothes landings ever, just feeling my way down into the blackness of the abyss below. Watching the end runway lights, i tiptoed my way down, it felt like i was already below the runway by the time i felt the mains touch.
Another fun day out, i left in CAVU winds light and variable, about 40 minutes later, two cells popped up on either ends of the valley. They came from nowhere, there was about 4 other a/c out in the same area who were caught out too, and then they started downbursting. The result of two strong cells on either ends at mature stage meant all the displaced air in the valley had to go somewhere, and that somewhere was straight UP! As i began to run for home, th whole valley began lifing, and i was going with it. Ina few seconds my VSI was pegged at 2000ft/min up,and i was being draggedf upwards through 10,000'. pushed the nose over and filled the windscreen with earth, buried the AI and was able to maintan a bit over 10k without getting sucked up into space (that's what it felt like, flying backwards and climbing at 70degrees definitely counts as the upper limit of pucker factor. At one point i was nearly vertical, sawing at the power to keep my airspeed in check, and i was still climbing. My DME called a speed over ground of less thna 40 knots while i was at 127 indicated, hanging on the edge of Vno at the top of the yellow arc. I kept it at the top of the yellow and eventully boke the grasp of the updraft (i caught a bit of pea sized hail as i got closer to the runway and the cell which was a few miles south) i got into the layer between the ground wind and the reciprocal aloft winds as the storm sucked higher air into it's column. I looked at the sock, it favored runway 5, but i was 1000' in the pattern and fighting a 40 knot HEADWIND, completely opposite the sock. I tightened up my belt, did a cockpit secure check, and set flaps for descent. Just after turning final a bit high, it was like hitting a brick wall. I seriously thought i had a midair with unannounced traffic below,, but realized that the shear line was just that violent. I made a sloppy assed nervous landing, tie down, kissed the tarmac, and promptly ran off to remove the soiled and chewed apart underpants. I had an intersting logbook entry that day and a sore purple chest from where the belt bruised me when i hit the wall of air. I fully expected airframe failure when i felt the impact, and checked to see if i still had wings.