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The wind is shifting as winter approaches

So all summer you learned to take-off and land on runway 18 into a south wind.  Likely your club has a runway alignment to accommodate prevailing winds when much of your flying takes place.  But now as the winds shift one has to begin learning and experiencing a new runway.  While it seems easy, many fly runway 18 in a left-hand pattern making all left turns downwind, crosswind and final approach.  For runway 36 your pattern may now switch to a right hand pattern as most fields are set up to fly in limited airspace.  With this change, learning right turns will become necessary.  One might think every good flyer flies both patterns equally well and most of the time this is correct. But for me, even though I have flown for many years I simply prefer the left hand pattern.  I have probably made more mistakes flying a right hand pattern then I care to think about.  It just takes practice and after a while both patterns will seem the same.  Most new pilots learning the opposite turn will tend to oversteer.  Take it slow and keep the plane level.  Don’t let winter winds keep you from this great hobby.

Updated: October 16, 2011 — 8:51 PM

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