Would you bag this flight?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by mryan75, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have an insurance checkout today in the venerable Cessna 150. Severe clear, light surface winds, but 35 knots at 2,000 and calling for wind sheer. Aside from the fact that cars on the road will be passing me when flying into the wind, I've never really dealt with wind sheer. My instructor has always told me that 25 knots or greater at 3,000 feet generally means turbulence and wind sheer, and frankly I've generally just avoided it.

    Is 35 knots at 2,000 reason to bag a flight in a 150? Aside from having mo experience with it, I'm wondering if hose are ideal conditions for getting acquainted with a new plane.
     
  2. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    Considering the poor climbing/cruise performance, canning the flight sounds prudent.
     
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  3. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's kinda what I figured. I appreciate the feedback.
     
  4. AA5Bman

    AA5Bman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Where do you live? To me, 35 knots at 2,000’ in the Sierra is a lot different than 35 knots at 2,000 over flatland.
     
  5. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    In regards to climbing into wind shear with calm winds below, the text books suggest a higher than normal airspeed.
     
  6. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Central NY. KRME.

    Valid point. Its pretty flight here, just some rolling hills.
     
  7. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I don't know if that's possible in the 150! :)

    I was just thinking, it might not have the power to deal with a strong wind sheer. I trust the instructor I'm going with, I just wanted to feel it out before talking to him.
     
  8. Pete7AC

    Pete7AC Filing Flight Plan

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    It could be a handful, I have a few hundred hours in a 150 and I generally avoided winds aloft over 25mph, (we are in the Mts.) but have flown in higher (yes watching cars pass me) and it has gone both ways, from nothing to it, to hanging on. If your instructor has good local knowledge, I would listen to his advice. By the way, if you are at KRME I am not too far from you.
     
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  9. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Sounds like a close cousin of get-there-its. It's a flight you can make another day and you aren't sure. Of course Murphy's law will kick in and the wind shear forecast will be dropped 28min after you call off the flight. I would think it would be pretty bumpy and if the shear starts to align better with the surface winds it might gusty down low for landing...but doesn't sound like that is in your forecast.
     
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  10. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    In general, I think a good indicator for canceling a flight is when the thought "It'll probably work out." floats into your mind.
     
  11. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    Oh yeah. I’d cancel.

    Well, reschedule.
     
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  12. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    If the winds on the ground are ok, no reports of wind shear bigger than 10 knots on approach, and pireps are ok, I probably would do it. Big winds at altitude don't necessarily mean turbulence. But that's what I'm comfortable with.

    I was on an ifr lesson flight near Boston, at around 3000 feet, ATC gave me a vector, then called me back and asked if I was on the vector, I was, he said that I was not going in the direction he wanted and had me turn more. I was in a Cirrus, I told him I had 42 knot direct crosswind and that was probably the issue. The ride was smooth with an occasional burble.
     
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  13. NordicDave

    NordicDave Cleared for Takeoff

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    For me personally, as soon as I have to ask the question and start thinking about it, I bag the flight.
     
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  14. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    Since it is a flight with an instructor I would go do it, unless the instructor is not comfortable with it.
    Agree I would probably cancel if around mountains.
    It will be a rough uncomfortable flight, but it would be good for you to experience it, You can always terminate the flight early easily. Actually for an insurance checkout in a 150 it is entirely possible to never exceed 1000ft agl. But with those conditions I would try to get up where you can experience it.

    As your instructor, if you asked me I would say you are the pilot, you make the call if we are going or not. It is not bad enough that I would override your decision.

    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
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  15. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Line Up and Wait

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    SIGMET for low level turbulence (Upstate NY) and one PIREP from a United flight for wind shear.
     
  16. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What is the turbulence forecast? If there was any, I'd cancel.

    You might be able to do the flight, however, the whole point of a checkout is to become familiar and get comfortable with the aircraft. That would be hard to do if you're battling wind shear and turbulence in a 152.

    As a personal opinion and NOT trying to criticize - saying you "trust the instructor" is, in my mind, the wrong way to look at it.

    First off, your instructor is probably quite comfortable flying in these conditions, so he is likely to push for the flight. Keep in mind part of an instructors priority is to make money (and NO, this is not a criticism of flight instructions, just the reality).

    The only thing that is important here is what YOU are going to get out of the flight. If you are concerned about the conditions (which you are from this post) then you need to make the decision to fly or not. Forget what the instructor thinks, that is irrelevant. Again, it comes back to what you need to get out of the flight. Since this is a check-out flight the goal is to become familiar with a new airplane. I doubt you will get the maximum benefit from the flight when dealing with high winds and possible turbulence.

    On the other hand, it's great practice to go up with an instructor in these conditions for the learning experience of dealing with high winds. However that is not the intent of this flight.

    My long-winded point is to suggest you make the decision here, and not defer to the instructor.

    Honestly, I spent too many years deferring to instructors. I had the idea that "they knew best", and in many cases they did. Yet there were many times I went flying and just wasted my money because I deferred to the instructors opinion.

    I should have taken responsibility for my decisions long before I did. Also, I was always struggling financially so a wasted flight was a big deal. I guess if you're not concerned about money, and can fly whenever you want, that would change the perspective.
     
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  17. Martin Pauly

    Martin Pauly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Get some local pireps before making a decision. This type of non-convective windsheer can be silky smooth, where the only thing you notice is your ground speed changing. Or it can be turbulent.

    Windsheer has a bad name from its convective kind, the type of windsheer associated with thunderstorms and microburst. You don't want to mess with THAT type. But non-convective windsheer is different, much more benign.

    Another thing to know is windsheer is more of an issue for jets (with slow engine spool up times) than for prop planes.

    In summary: it all depends, but don't cancel just because of the "WS" in the METAR or TAF. Get a pirep and go from there.

    - Martin
     
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  18. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yep, bag it. 150/152’s turn into kites pretty quickly. 35kt winds + shear? Pass.
     
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  19. Brad W

    Brad W Pre-takeoff checklist

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    i'm reminded of a flight a long time ago. I'd been renting a variety of planes for a long time since earning my PPL in 152 and 150 cessnas. At that time I'd been flying a lot in 172RGs... so anyway, I rented a 152 for a local joy ride. It was a bit windy and gusty that day but certainly well withing what the plane could handle (around 5-15MPH, a bit higher gusts that day thanks to weather underground).... and I remember thinking I don't really like that little 152 any more....it was a bumpy ride! Actually scared myself a bit in it....because I just wasn't used to the lightly loaded 152 at the time.
     
  20. dbahn

    dbahn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I wouldn't worry about a take off into wind shear. On take off your ground speed will determined by the lighter wind so your airspeed will initially increase as you climb. But on the approach to land if your groundspeed is low and you descend into a decreasing wind then your airspeed will initially decrease. (These are assuming a stable approach attitude.) So if you know that there is wind shear the best strategy is to avoid a short field landing and to carry a little extra airspeed on the descent, or at least watch the ASI closely as you descend into the lower wind speed and be quick to add power if needed. That's how I do it.

    And as noted several posts above, it's more a problem for larger aircraft and jets, partly because of engine spool up time but also because of the need to accelerate a larger mass if airspeed suddenly decreases on the descent, so it can affect piston aircraft as well.

    Turbulence is more of a separate issue which can occur with or without wind shear.
     
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  21. Challenged

    Challenged Pattern Altitude

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    Hmm, yeah I'd probably pass as well, doesn't seem like it would be enjoyable.

    Screenshot from 2019-12-08 09-31-39.png
     
  22. Squirrelfury

    Squirrelfury Filing Flight Plan

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    Cancel a flight due to wind shear at 2000' AGL? Wait ... what ... why?!?

    Wind always varies with altitude. All "wind shear" means is that the wind speed variation is occurring over a smaller than normal altitude range -- maybe as little as a few hundred feet.

    If you climb or descend through that "wind shear" band, the airplane can "feel" a temporary change in the speed/direction of the air stream around it. That can be significant if it happens at low airspeed close to the ground (during landing approach, for instance), especially for large, fast aircraft (think ... jets) that pass through the band quickly and whose heavy weights make them resistant to rapidly correcting for that airspeed variation.

    It's less significant for our "little" airplanes, which tend to climb/descend through the wind shear altitude band much more slowly, and which -- because of their low weight/inertia -- quickly accelerate or decelerate to conform to the "new" airflow about the plane. During normal operation and at 2000' above the surface, one might not even detect a wind shear passage unless you were really watching for it.

    Now ... wind shear at altitude may well trigger some turbulence, just due to mixing of the wind flows. Okay, turbulence is a thing. Different pilots have different tolerances for turbulence. If you just really don't like flying in bumpy conditions, then -- yeah -- reschedule this checkout flight to a smoother day. Otherwise -- talk to the instructor who's going to fly with you -- see what he/she thinks. Today's flight conditions might prove to be a valuable learning experience.
     
  23. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Here is a risk mitigation matrix.

    1. KRME is an 11,000x200 runway 15/33
    2. The surface winds are forecast down the runways @ 6.
    3. The low prog chart says moderate below 8000.
    4. 3000 ft wind SYR 210@48
    5. PIC is commercial pilot with instructor rating.
    6. Number of student hours in make model unknown.

    Unless you are prone to motion sickness, you will learn a lot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
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  24. JEB

    JEB Pre-Flight

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    A few thoughts from my point of view...
    1. If you are unsure about if its a good idea to take off or not and you get to the point that you're asking a bunch of strangers on the web if you should go, maybe you've already answered your question.
    2. You'll be flying with an instructor, use this as a great chance to get some instruction. Even if the ultimate decision is to not go, work with a CFI who knows the plane, hopefully knows you and knows local conditions. Chances are, you'll learn something that helps you with these decisions in the future.
    3. As others have said, wind at altitude can simply mean a change in your ground speed while you are in overall smooth air, or it can be "exciting". Shear implies an abrupt change in wind direction. 35 kts of shear in my Bonanza is a lot different than it would be in a C150. I've been in a Cirrus SR20 and have encountered shear that I could not climb out of. I was full power and in a climb attitude, but still going down. I was at 6500 feet. I turned 90 degrees and flew away from that shear, all worked out fine. What would be your plan if you hit that situation with a much lower powered aircraft and at a much lower altitude. Are you confident you can escape it?
     
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  25. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Sounds like a learning opportunity to me.
     
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  26. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Something similar happened to me recently. Forecast called for windshear at 2000 mod turbulence sfc to 18000.
    I was going up in a Cherokee 180. I thought about cancelling but decided to watch some airplanes go up and ask the pilots landing how the winds were.
    All said a little bumpy but no biggie.
    So up I went with the back plan to turn around and land.
    It was actually a nice day to fly. No shear and pretty ok considering the winds were 45 knots from NW. My crab angle was 30 degrees...
     
  27. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Turbulence, wind shear and possible icing forecasts are not that reliable in my opinion. Pireps, precip on cold days with fl low give a big cause for concern. For the op I would talk to the instructor, if he says go then go.. Sounds like you are nervous in those conditions, sooner or later you will be caught in those conditions, better to experience the first time with an instructor.
     
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  28. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    This was my reason for saying bag it. This plus OP said “Aside from having mo experience with it” (assuming “mo” means “no”) :) I’d want to be a little more comfortable with the plane in such conditions before doing any kind of checkout ride in those conditions.
     
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  29. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    Agree with this also. It’s just I’d grab time with an instructor some other time than a checkout ride.
     
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  30. Bobanna

    Bobanna Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Your aeronautical decision-making skills are being tested. Reschedule the flight; how would you feel if a gust flipped you over while taxiing out? A prudent stand-down is totally in your favor when they evaluate you. Godspeed
     
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  31. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

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    If surface winds are reasonable, I’d say it would be good experience (since you’re with an instructor).

    You should brief beforehand about what to expect, and acknowledge that you may not be able to check out in the aircraft due to being unable to complete the air work or whatever.

    I once did an IFR lesson in IMC with an approach we KNEW we’d miss. Weather was 100-1/4. We followed the procedures - totally fine. Just brief what to expect and what you will do. In this case, a review of maneuvering speed would be prudent. :)
     
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  32. geezer

    geezer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Probably just after thought for a decision already made.

    Working on my PPL, Cessna 150, with 45 minutes of instrument training in the log, I had a routine scheduled lesson with a forecast similar to yours.

    We went up, conditions at low altitude were benign. He said we had a unique opportunity. He had me climb into the shear layer under the hood, then we maneuvered in turbulence sufficient to bang us into banks of 30 to 45 degrees in a second. We were bumping shoulders, and doors. We spent an hour doing that, and never were out of control. I was fatigued, but comfortable that nothing bad was going to happen, and lower was always an option if I wished to end the work.

    After an hour of this, we went back to the airport, and did some landing practice in bumpy air, way less than in the shear level. That time under the hood gave me great confidence in both the plane and me. I always climb or descend to avoid cruising in such layers, but do not fear them.

    Much later, with an IR rating, I flew a C172 east with a 60 knot wind from the west, and did not have ANY turbulence on the way up or down. Descending into Dayton Ohio, the tailwind was still 40 knots at 4,000 feet, but the traffic pastern was full of C 150's and small Pipers, no bumps at all.

    If you do not go up, you will not know what is up there. If traffic in the pattern is taking a beating, stay on the ground. With a CFI along, if you are beyond your capability, he has the responsibility to see that all ends well, and you have learned more about what you can do.

    Any time you are up with an instructor you should learn something that you do not yet know.
     
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  33. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I just flew from KMGJ (NY, south east) today from 340' to 13,600' and it was glass smooth the whole way. Some pretty fast winds up there, but could not feel them at all. But I did get carb ice at the top of the climb, even though temps were 15-20 degrees and air was dry and clear the entire way. Cleared up in 30 seconds, luckily the engine was hot from a 30 minute climb. Well, the O-200 never gets hot in the winter and only gets to the middle of the green range in a sustained Vy climb. Plus I could have glided for about 15-20 miles from that altitude.
     
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  34. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

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    If your purpose is to become acquainted with a new airplane, this may not be the best situation for that, in which case, you did the right thing by cancelling. But you could use this opportunity to learn more about wind shear (BTW it is shear, not sheer). Wind shear above 1000 ft AGL in a light aircraft should be a nonissue. If the lapse rate is stable, or inverted, then you may not even notice the shear. The only concern is an abrupt loss of headwind on initial climb out or during final approach, especially below 500 ft. You should be able to figure out the shear direction from the forecast winds and runway direction, and carry a little extra airspeed. Flying 30 knots faster on final may be a bit too much, especially if you don't encounter the shear, but in that case just go around and try it again with a slower speed. A sudden tailwind on initial climbout is more problematic, but in that case, you should really be using the opposite runway.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  35. jbarrass

    jbarrass Line Up and Wait

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    1) generally, when in doubt sit it out.

    2) when the conditions are near the edge of your comfort zone is a perfect time for some dual. I’m assuming your CFI is competent and comfortable in this condition. Some day you’ll find yourself in this condition when it wasn’t forecast.

    i don’t know what an insurance checkout is in this case, you may not get the sign off, but you could end up with some good, though uncomfortable, training.

    JMHO
     
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  36. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Cleared for Takeoff

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    I cancelled the flight portion of my flight review last month because of high gusty surface winds, and the CFI agreed. Rescheduled for two days later and we had lighter winds. There's no shame in canceling if you don't feel comfortable with conditions.
     
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  37. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    Do you have 100 hrs or 100 of the same hour. Becoming a better pilot is always about expanding your envelope. I'm not saying questioning if you should go is bad,it gives you an chance to ask yourself what am I questioning? Is it that I'm uncomfortable or really concerned? Uncomfortable is sometimes a good thing. I once has a friend that had his ppl, and was a very conservative pilot. He was a very good pilot also. One day he came in the flight school, the wind was gusting to 25 or 30 and about 40 degrees to the runway. He asked if i was comfortable in the conditions in the 150. He said he wasn't, and set his limits much lower but really needed to expand his envelope to make himshelf more confidant in his abilities. We went out for an hour, and got thrown around. After landing he said, I still will set my personal limits lower, but I feel much better about my abilities if I ever get caught in worse conditions. Discuss it with the cfi and decide if it will benefit you or not, then make the go no go decision.
     
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  38. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    The high winds are aloft. If you are worried about surface winds reported and forecast at 6 knots flipping over a 152, I would cancel every flight.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  39. Bobanna

    Bobanna Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Clip, I'm with you. If the surface winds are mild, it shouldn't matter. I presumed that the strong winds aloft translated to strong, gusty conditions at the surface. In any case, I don't think a proficiency check in strong winds is a good idea (Imagine turns-about-a-point in a 152 in 30 kt winds). There's always a better day. Of course, if the CFI understands that the conditions are challenging, and he/she has an instructional objective, I say "let her go." YMMV.

    The question was: would I bag this flight? Yes, I would.
     
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  40. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    I did fly today to 1N7 with my son for a little Donnas runway cafe from KHZL. Way out was making 145-150kts GS. Bumpy to 4K then smooth. Way back made 95 kts GS with a 25 degree course correction and on final getting bumped now30-35 degree correction. Only 20 deg flaps but over the numbers that wind switched and I almost dropped it on its ass. Had to wall it and go around.