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  #1  
Old 05-10-2018, 06:35 AM
Ed_Wischmeyer's Avatar
Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,576
Default Waiting for the weather

Discovered some funny psychology while waiting for the weather.

The original plan was to fly from Savannah, GA, up to southeastern Michigan yesterday. Multiple lines of thunderstorms and a forecast strong crosswind at the destination airport made no-go an easy decision. But the plane was already packed (a plastic tub in the passenger seat holds the oxygen bottle, always a nuisance to keep upright and accessible, plus snacks, water bottles, tie down kit, bug cleaning kit, etc). Clothes and such can get packed almost instantaneously, so I had a free day before the trip.

It was amazing what a de-stressor this unplanned free day was. Ran some errands, got new tires for the car and a CT scan for my back, did laundry, paid bills, all kinds of things that would have otherwise been piled up, waiting for me when I got back home. Maybe when time comes for Oshkosh, I'll load the plane a few days in advance rather than just the day before.

So this morning is another no-go, with thunderstorms and IFR. I'm book legal for IFR, but to be honest with myself, I don't want to fly a whole leg of hard IFR. If it turns into hard IFR, I can do it, even if the autopilot fails, but it wouldn't be fun. And if there are lines of thunderstorms to dodge IFR, even with ADS-B uplink, fuhgeddaboutit. Isolated air mass thunderstorms, VFR, maybe.

Plan C, or whatever letter we're up to, is to go half way this afternoon and finish the trip tomorrow. Unlikely, but all it takes is a phone call to check on the weather. Plan D is the whole trip tomorrow, also unlikely. Plan E is an early morning launch Saturday so as to be there by 1 PM or so. The motivation for the trip is a memorial service, and ain't no point in trying too hard to get there and requiring a second one.

As for today, the plan is to be completely packed and ready to go when I check the weather late morning, with eating and drinking in preparation for the trip. If I don't go, then I'll expend energy on exercise, do a few more chores, etc.

"It's better to be down, wishin' you was up, than up, wishin' you was down."

And it's also better to be at home, waiting for the weather, than in some motel room part way. Less pressure, more restful. Lots better than that six day trip from Georgia to Arizona a few years back, waiting out storms in the southeast and turbulence and high winds out west...
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RV-9A at KSAV (Savannah, GA; dual G3X Touch with autopilot, GTN650, GTX330ES, GDL52 ADSB-In)
Previously RV-4, RV-8, RV-8A, AirCam, Cessna 175
ATP CFII PhD, so I have no excuses when I screw up
Vaccines kept me out of the hospital but COVID still cost me a month of living, all told...
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2018, 07:26 AM
jbDC9 jbDC9 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 912
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Yep! Sometimes, the weather just says "no!"... what'cha gonna do? Wait.

I had to play the waiting game a few weeks ago on a trip from Atlanta back to Houston; nasty rain, storms and low ceilings from the Gulf to STL-MCI. Too far and crappy to go around, so I made a run for Pensacola and parked it for a day while waiting for the storm to pass. Was a good spot to wait it out; Naval Aviation museum, a coupla brew pubs and a crew car from the PNS FBO... was a pretty decent, easy way to wait for it to clear up. It helped that I had plenty of days off from work, no stress or rush to get home.
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  #3  
Old 05-10-2018, 07:55 AM
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Raymo Raymo is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Richmond Hill, GA (KLHW)
Posts: 2,340
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I am watching the weather for a trip to Myrtle Beach next week. Getting there looks to be no problem but getting back on Saturday may require leaving the airplane in the hangar and heading north in my car.
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RV-7A - Slider - N495KL - First flt 27 Jan 17
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2018, 06:38 PM
Paul 5r4 Paul 5r4 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Foley, Al
Posts: 632
Default Weather waits.... the other side of the coin.

Last November I was trying to make it to Petit Jean Arkansas for the RV flyin. Had new GF with me so was hoping to impress her. Because of a line of storms I made it to within about 100 miles. Ended up landing at an airport/city that I'll leave unnamed. Never cleared to make it out again that day. We found a little motel for the night. The "best" restaurant in that little town would come in a distant last behind any fast food joint! The mall.... a rundown place where once we looked at the exterior decided to passed on. Found a bottle of wine and it was back to the room for TV. Next morning we still could not make it to Petit Jean so when it became MVFR, we headed back home with weather improving as we got further and further south.
So the OP is right, better to be stuck waiting for the weather at home!

P.S. I did come away with this thought. If I lose my engine directly over that city/airport, I'll try and glide someplace else :-)
P.S.S. The folks at that airport were super nice as well as the folks in town. just nothing at all there.
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  #5  
Old 05-11-2018, 03:28 AM
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goatflieg goatflieg is offline
 
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Location: Clarkston, MI
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Where are you heading in SE Mich? I've got a hangar available at PTK if you need it... it will be awhile before mine will be there, and I'd love to see an RV-8 in there...!
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2018, 08:21 AM
Radioflyer Radioflyer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 197
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Ed, glad to see you make this post as it is the often an untold truth of general/sport flying, even if one is IFR capable. I sometimes feel very guilty and sad for giving up on a flight due to weather that I know I can fly in. It's just that flying is supposed to be fun and not worrisome. Unless you really, really have to get somewhere in weather you know you can fly in, why bother if you have to work and worry the flight?
Every year I come across this situation deciding whether or not to fly to Oshkosh. If I fly, I worry that departure/arrival weather will constrain my available time there or worse, leave me stranded for days somewhere and miss my obligations back home. If I fly commercially or drive, well, it's simply not a worry.
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  #7  
Old 05-11-2018, 08:36 AM
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Planecrazy232 Planecrazy232 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Cape Coral, FL
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I have a saying- "If you go by air, have time to spare..."
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RV6-A "Aluminum Mistress"
Too many hobbies- not enough time.
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  #8  
Old 05-11-2018, 05:06 PM
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Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
 
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Location: Savannah, GA
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So the weather cooperated today. Five flying hours, two fuel stops, five minutes of actual IFR.

The IFR was just north of Asheville, NC, which frequently has clouds about. I was at 6500 and pondering my options. The headwinds were 24 knots, and out west, the rule of thumb is that means you need at least 1000 feet over the mountains for every ten knots of wind. However, it was smooth. So the question was, over, under, or through?

I tried over, but it was clear that 8500 would not be 1000 over the cloud tops, and I didn't want too go to 10,500, even though I had oxygen.

My rule for flying under clouds is that it has to be clear, the weather stable so you know nothing is going to change on you, and with at least one iron clad way out. Hazy killed the first rule, 24 knots of wind killed the second and third. So no under.

So I got IFR at 8000 with some in and out, mostly in, for about five minutes. I watched the autopilot do its thing and when we got to the north edge of the clouds (and the mountains), you could see forever, or nearly.

So five minutes of IFR made the trip work. And coming into Michigan, with a big storm area, IFR meant that I could go take a look if I wanted to. Didn't have to, came in VFR and the 15 knot winds were down the runway.

My kind of trip. Except for getting up real early... fortunately, there was a recliner (with massager!) at the second stop. That was KFGX - Fleming-Mason Airport, in Kentucky, near Cinncinnati, was a great gas stop. The local gas station makes really good burgers. On previous trips, I've stopped at Cynthiana, KY, which is also friendly with a loaner to get you into town.

The last 75 minutes had a tailwind (finally!) and continuous light chop, occasionally moderate, as forecast. What was different was that this chop was all mechanical, with no up and downdrafts. I wish the Georgia chop would take lessons from the Ohio chop...
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RV-9A at KSAV (Savannah, GA; dual G3X Touch with autopilot, GTN650, GTX330ES, GDL52 ADSB-In)
Previously RV-4, RV-8, RV-8A, AirCam, Cessna 175
ATP CFII PhD, so I have no excuses when I screw up
Vaccines kept me out of the hospital but COVID still cost me a month of living, all told...

Last edited by Ed_Wischmeyer : 05-12-2018 at 03:12 AM.
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  #9  
Old 05-12-2018, 05:42 AM
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Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
 
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Location: Savannah, GA
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Default

Point of clarification - this was in the RV-9A, not in the -8, if you didn’t pick up on keeping stuff in the passenger seat accessible.
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RV-9A at KSAV (Savannah, GA; dual G3X Touch with autopilot, GTN650, GTX330ES, GDL52 ADSB-In)
Previously RV-4, RV-8, RV-8A, AirCam, Cessna 175
ATP CFII PhD, so I have no excuses when I screw up
Vaccines kept me out of the hospital but COVID still cost me a month of living, all told...
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  #10  
Old 05-12-2018, 09:02 AM
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flightlogic flightlogic is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 1,674
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Ed, I lay an oxygen bottle down on its side just behind the seat. I put two straps with plastic fixlock buckles around the rotating tube that drives the flaps. There is not enough friction to impede the flap motion, and it provides a place to secure the bottle temporarily in the 9A. An infant regulator on the bottle provides just the right flow for two people or one up.
On strictly solo trips, I use the military HEEDS type bottle with a pulse regulator. Anyway, I don't like the idea of a chunk of metal sitting loose next to me in the chop. Just some ideas. Glad you held for WX. Smart man.
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