Crazy Winds

I started coming down with a cold on Monday afternoon and knew by Tuesday that I wasn’t going to be up for flying to Laughlin this week. It also meant that I didn’t get to do my IFR currency flight (though I did do my three stop and go’s to get my PIC back).

Desert airports often have crazy winds and Laughlin seems to have them more often than most; its not unusual to see 30+ knots. I watched the METARs yesterday and around the time we would have arrived the winds were 010° at 18knots. Laughlin’s runways are 16 and 34 so that would be about an 8kt crosswind, not too brutal but enough that I’d be paying attention. I looked again just now to see what it would have been for our planned departure time and the winds are currently 360° at 25kt, a crosswind component of 14 knots. Now we’d be having some fun, especially as other airports in the area are reporting much lower winds suggesting a bumpy ride out of the valley. We’ve arranged the trip for next week so we’ll see what the weather does between now and then.

Update: the preliminary report on the airplane crash mentioned below is now available on the NTSB’s website.