Short Final: Windy


I fly in the High Desert of Southern California. We often get very strong, gusty winds. While practicing approaches, I heard this interaction between tower and a C-17 crew, also practicing.

Tower: “…wind 200 at 25 gusting to 37, cleared for the option Runway 17.”

C-17 pilot after acknowledging information: “Does the wind always blow like this?”

Tower: “No (pause), sometimes it blows hard.”

George White

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  1. I flew out of Edwards AFB, Fox field and Mojave for 27+ years in my 172, et al. I’ve landed on one wheel v. 2 and survived more times than I can count … but I don’t know how. On one occasion at Mojave, every windsock on the field was indicating a different direction. If you can fly in a place like that, you can fly anywhere. And — yes — you grow to not even notice 20-25 kt winds. I DON’T miss it πŸ™‚

  2. It’s a great place to practice skidding and slipping. Sometimes simultaneously. Usually unintentionally.

  3. I was always worried about running off the far end of the runway at Fox or Rosamond on the infrequent occasions the wind wasn’t blowing! πŸ˜‰

    Mojave was the worst with the Tehachapi Mountains so close by. Severe turbulence was quite common in that area when it wasn’t being reported anywhere else for miles.

    • I had a hangar at Mojave for 17 years. The drive up from Palmdale took 30 minutes but I’d always have to allot an hour extra to sweep “blow” sand OUT of my hangar. I even covered my airplane INSIDE the hangar.

      I remember one time I took off in the AM for a $100 hamburger at Columbia; when I returned, the AWOS announced the wind was blowing 45mph. I do NOT miss the Antelope Valley ! I first showed up there in 1972 when the population was around 50K for the whole place. NOW, it’s like the San Fernando Valley #2. πŸ™