Big winds, small planes: How gusty days impact flying

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Gusty wind hit the air capital on Thursday and Friday, and pilots said those big gusts can impact flying and those who are learning to fly.

Flight instructor Jerry Sheehy said on really windy days, you likely won’t see many small planes up in the air. He said take-off and landing takes some practice for even some of the most experienced pilots.

“On a gusty day like today, the wind is going to shut down a lot of flying,” said Jerry Sheehy.

Sheehy and his student Robert Phillips said the wind can be a challenge when it comes to flying, even if it’s half the speed.

“Yeah, the other day when it was windy, it didn’t go as good as normal landings do, to say the least,” said Phillips. “A little bit bumpy coming in, but we survived.”

“When you’re in those small planes in high winds, the more you’re going to get bounced around on a day like today, especially the lower you get and the closer you get to the ground, there’s going to be more and more turbulence,” said Sheehy.

Sheehy said he likes his students to spread their winds and challenge themselves, but with the strong winds, he’d rather them stay grounded.

“Yes, I have flown on days like today, and it’s not pleasant, it takes a bit of skill and experience,” he said.

There have been other concerns when it comes to high winds. Sheehy said the last windstorm flipped this plane upside down after the straps came loose.

“That’s why we have insurance,” he said.

Sheehy said once the students are trained, he believes Kansas pilots learn a great skill and will be landing on the runway to success, no matter where they go.

“Well of course, we are the best pilots,” he said.

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