Fun Day Out Around the Pattern

You may remember that one of my new year’s resolutions was not to lose any of my currencies this year. Well, losing my job in the first week of the year put paid to that and this Sunday I found myself not current in anything; first time I’d ever not been current to take passengers.

So today I went up to get my PIC back by doing some touch and goes around the field. The winds were high driving over but not too bad for my first time around. I was making right traffic on 28R, winds were picking up and it was getting busy, a couple of people making circuits with me and a steady stream of inbounds but the tower was doing a great job of sequencing. Winds were picking up, by my third landing the winds were 230 at 14kts and I struggled with my rusty crosswind skills.

Just as I was wondering why we weren’t using runway 23 the tower announced the switch. Someone in front of me offered to do a 360 and switch rather than land, tower accepted and then offered me the same. I do a 360 and am told to extend my new downwind. You have to be careful, extend too far and you will be in MCAS Miramar’s class Bravo. Now there’s a citation and a king air on the ILS to 28R, I’m no match for them. I get a turn to base and then a go-around before I’ve finished the turn. This time I have to extend upwind and rather than make a left crosswind I get a right 360 before the turn. By the time I am done, things seem sorted out and I make a normal (in terms of pattern at least) approach and landing on 23.

A very interesting ‘welcome back’ after 3 months away. I really do want (and need) to stay more current. Fortunately I should start a new job in the next couple of weeks and will then get my CFI up with me for my IFR currency.