Grey sky with light spots, chance of rain
Location: EDAY (Strausberg)
Equipment: MD3 Rider (D-MALJ)
The morning has been over cast and there were a few drops of rain earlier. But now the sky gets lighter and I have high hopes for good weather as I do my pre-flight.
I check in with the tower and start taxiing to the runway. A large rain drop lands right in the middle of the wind shield with a thud. It is slowly being smeared across the plexi glass by the wind of the propeller. The flight instructor is not concerned. We have checked the weather radar in the flight school and the tower did not expect more rain either.
By the time we have reached the runway, the single rain drop is in the middle of a family reunion. Not a big problem, the sky still looks relatively light. The aircraft does not have wind shield wipers but as I push the throttle forward for take off, the propeller blows the screen clear of the rain.
The vertical visibility in the traffic pattern is around the legal minimum of 1.5 kilometers. On the crosswind leg of the departure (the first 90 degree turn after take-off) I have to be able to see to the end of the runway (1.2 kilometers) and a bit beyond that. I see the road behind the runway, because I know it’s there.
We do one touch and go, still hoping the rain shower is going to go away. On the downwind leg of the second round we lose visibility of the runway. The aircraft is shaking, the rain is getting stronger by the second. An Individual rain drop is coming through a crack and lands on my arm. The propeller is not blowing the rain away from the wind shield any more but blowing more water onto it. I’m having a difficult time keeping the runway in sight on the base leg. After landing we taxi over to the hangar. The sky is now black, only minutes after we were still hoping for sun.
13 minutes, 2 landings and dryining off the aircraft. Actually that was a good lesson about weather!
To be continued…
(Originally posted on March 16, 2011 by tilbo at aloft.blog.com/rainy-day/)