I was flying solo a rental Cessna 172 on a hot summer afternoon, and on the leg between Joliette and Mirabel airport, I hit a rough patch of turbulence. Lucky enough, I always fly with the seatbelt on, because otherwise I could have knocked myself unconscious banging my head on the ceiling of the cabin.

As I had learned during my instruction, I slowed down the airplane and kept flying, even though I was feeling extremely nauseated and I was on the verge of puking. But I was alone in the airplane, with no one else to take over if I became incapacitated, and no automatic pilot to fly level. I felt like one feels after spending an entire day in the sunshine on a hot summer day in the rides at the amusement park.

So even though I did not feel good at all, I still managed to find my way to the Mirabel airport and land there. I remember at 70 feet from the ground, the airplane was being pushed around by turbulence, I was mentally prepared for a rough landing. But, magically, at 50 feet above the runway, everything became calm and I landed a greaser to be proud of.

The lesson I kept from this ordeal is this. In the summertime, when turbulence from heat convection can be expected in the afternoon, it is better to plan for an early morning flight, or after 4pm. Likewise in winter, very often there will be fog on the ground for most of the morning until the sun can heat the air enough for the fog to dissipate. Therefore I do not plan for takeoffs before 11am in the winter time.