Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This Will Be Interesting

I'm planning on a departure from KBDR about 1845Z to head for KVKX for the Thanksgiving holiday. I've filed for the "coastal" route at 6,000 feet (i.e., via JFK, down V16, over Dover and into KVKX) but according to FlightAware.com, I'm going to get "the usual route" at 8,000 feet (i.e., west to SAX, on to Allentown, Lancaster, Baltimore then into KVKX. That's the first problem. Here's why:

The forecast freezing level over eastern Pennsylvania is in the band from 7,000 to 9,000 feet. I'm not happy with the icing potential, so when I actually get the clearance I shall see if I can negotiate a reroute to something like what I filed for. If not, I'll have to depart and let ATC deal with getting me a lower altitude if I find ice.

The second problem concerns ceilings in the DC area. That 1845Z departure will likely get me into the area of KVKX around 2115Z. The TAF's show the ceilings beginning to lift a little about then:
KDCA 251123Z 2512/2612 00000KT 2SM -DZ BR SCT006 BKN009 OVC019 
     FM251600 10005KT 5SM BR OVC008 
     FM251900 21004KT P6SM OVC015 
     FM260300 VRB03KT P6SM BKN250
KADW 2512/2609 09006KT 3200 -DZ BR OVC013 QNH3004INS 
     BECMG 2513/2514 09006KT 2400 -DZ BR OVC004 QNH2999INS 
     TEMPO 2514/2515 OVC005 
     BECMG 2514/2515 14006KT 9999 NSW OVC007 QNH2988INS 
     BECMG 2518/2519 17006KT 9999 SCT007 OVC015 QNH2987INS 
     BECMG 2522/2523 18006KT 9999 FEW007 SCT020 QNH2987INS 
     BECMG 2605/2606 VRB06KT 0800 FG BKN002 QNH2987INS

You may recall that the Minimum Descent Altitude for the RNAV Rwy 6 approach at KVKX is 680 feet. At my ETA Andrews is expecting scattered clouds at 700 under a 1500 foot overcast; DCA is anticipating a 1500 foot overcast. If the forecasts verify I should be OK. If not, Plan 'B' is to divert to the ILS at Manassas and either rent a car or wait on the ground for an hour to see if the ceilings lift.

In any event, it should be interesting.

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