By Jon Humberd, EAA 1041964
A summer thunderstorm in Tennessee quickly turned a very nice sunset flight into a landing nightmare. Crazy wind gusts on final approach with very poor visibility through the windshield made for a very close call that could have been a disaster. Thanks in order to a lot of luck and the little bit of pilot skill, both the airplane and I made it home safely.
I know that I will catch a lot of judgement and kickback upon this one and am probably deserve it. “Would have, should have, could have” done things differently. I had plenty of fuel, so I should have flown to be able to another local airport, tied down, and waited it out. My one-way, uphill, no go-around grass strip with trees and obstacles all the way around, plus the weather and poor visibility made this a very sketchy landing.
Luckily, it was caught on camera for you all to see, judge, and hopefully learn something from. I am very thankful for the robustness and the nosewheel design of the Zenith airplanes! I’m not sure this could have turned out as well in a tailwheel STOL airplane in the terrible gusts and tailwind that was experienced in the video!