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A Crosswind Lesson

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June 2005- 

One day I was out shooting approaches from Long Beach, Calif. airport. Judging from the blimp on the ground, the winds were not strong.

However, by the time I was ready to go flying, the blimp had shifted 90 degrees on the ground with the wind. This was fine with me.

So, when I took off, the visibility was clear and unrestricted. Puffy cumulus clouds were out on the far horizon to the west over the Pacific Ocean and east over the mountains. Winds were six to seven knots out of the west.

After I was airborne I was given a couple of vectors to final approach course, and I took the time to look down at the ocean to see whitecaps appearing. This is when I sensed my landing was going to be a bit interesting. Some non-pilot oscillation heading in my direction.

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