Landings and a Brush File

In my continuing effort to sharpen back up before I head off to Seattle, I tooled out to do some landings and take-offs. There aren’t that many airports that let you do touch-and-goes on the weekends, but Whiteman and El Monte do. I planned to hit them both today. I like to practice at other airports, because they’re unfamiliar enough that landings feel different from the zillion I’ve done at Santa Monica.

Image of a brushfire behind WHP (color enhanced)

Image of a brushfire behind WHP (color enhanced)

The first interesting thing was that there was a smoke plume coming from out Whiteman way. The briefer hadn’t mentioned any closures or fire, so I figured I’d creep out that way and see if WHP was still open. It turns out it was, but the fire was close enough that I felt like I was in the way. They were conducting normal ops, though. I saw a banner tow pick up a banner and head out.

I did break one of my usual rules and take a picture of the smoke plume from near the coast in flight. From WHP you could see the flames.

After getting only 2 landings in at WHP, I went over to EMT for a few more. Overall these were OK, with little improvements, but I bounced the last one, so I decided to do a few more at SMO. I also aborted one takeoff on a touch-and-go because there was a big pack of birds on the runway milling about ominously.

Back at SMO the landings were decent. There was a good deal of gusty wind, which didn’t simplify anything, but still, one likes to do better. I did close out the session with a very nice short approach if I do say so myself.

Overall I’m feeling much less rusty.

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