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On October 12th, 2012, I decided to go flying.
10 knots winds gusting to 21 knots.OAT 36F.
I still had to fix the slight turn to the right problem and then I would take the little bird to the sky for a spin.
I unscrewed 1 turn on the left aileron; problem fixed !
Got on board for a test flight. A Cessna C-150 (instructor/student) was doing circuit work so I asked them how the winds were....TRES SPORT, I was told.
Lined up the runway, went to full throttle and lifted off. Wooooo !!!
The CH701 doesn't mind crosswinds and gusts ! That's nice. The takeoff was straight and holding the nose on the middle line was accomplished using some rudder and the 701 held the line very well.
In the air, you can feel the 10 knots winds but not as much as I tought I would. The 20 knots gusts were more annoying than anything else. There again, the 701 held its own. WIth reduced power, I could achieve 80 - 90mph easily. I went up to 2000ft and flew around the airfield for a while getting the fell for the gusts vs controls.
It was now time for the landing, which I did using the crab/low wing in the wind approach.
I kept the power on till the flare and, even with the gusts, it was a non event.
All the gauges were in the lower GREEN due to the OAT. That was to be expected.
Lessons learnt : in gusty conditions, my 701 doesn't have enough aileron deflection...The response is way too slow and the stick has to go to FULL for the input to command a quick movement from the plane. This is not acceptable; the fix is to modify the bicycle control behind the seats to get more deflection with the smaller stick movements.
Second lesson : do not leave the fuel shutoff valves ON...The gravity will work its magic and flood the engine... Don't ask how I know this. Suffice to say that undoing 4 plugs on a Subaru takes 1.2 hour...(including cowl removal, cleaning plugs and flushing fuel from the engine).
I decided not to go back flying in gusts before doing the aileron modification; marginal aileron control and gusts don't mix !
Final tought : the 701 has very good stability even in moderate crosswinds and gusty conditions. I didn't think this light plane would handle that well !
I really like the way the 701 handled marginal weather conditions.
Until next time,