Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fair Weather Trends

For some time it has seemed to me that the weather that N631S and I have been dealing with during this summer season has consistently been less...um...entertaining than what we dealt with last year. (It appears that another uneventful Friday trip is in the offing for tomorrow evening.)

To calibrate the feeling, I did some digging in the logbook last night. For Friday trips to the DC area since the beginning of May, here's what I found:

BDR - VKX 2009 2010
Trips Hours Apchs Trips Hours Apchs
May 5 13.7 2 4 10.7 0
June 4 10.7 3 4 9.9 0
July 4 10.3 2 4 9.7 0
Aug* 3 7.3 0 2 4.8 0
Total 16 42.0 6 14 35.1 0
*August data through the 18th of the month.

Last year over the course of 16 weekends it took an average of 2.63 hours to fly from KBDR to KVKX. Five of those trips ended in instrument approaches (one trip ended in two - a miss and an approach at my alternate).

This year over the same period (two fewer flights) the trip has averaged 2.51 hours and I haven't needed to fly a single instrument approach. It appears that the Friday evening weather really has been quite a lot better this year.

So, what about the Monday morning trips from DC back to Connecticut? Here's the data:

VKX - BDR 2009 2010
Trips Hours Apchs Trips Hours Apchs
May 4 8.7 1 4 8.6 2
June 5 10.6 1 5 10.2 2
July 4 9.1 2 3 6.5 1
Aug* 2 4.3 0 3 6.2 1
Total 15 32.7 4 15 31.5 6
*August data through the 18th of the month.

In 2009 the northbound flight averaged 2.16 hours and 4 out of 15 flights ended in an instrument approach. This year I've averaged 2.10 hours with 6 out of 15 flights requiring me to dig out the approach plate.

It appears that my Monday morning experiences this year have been much the same as last year but the Friday night flights have been significantly better.

I hope that the weather genie doesn't now feel compelled to prove me wrong!


Anonymous said...

I dunno, Frank. You sound mildly disappointed that you've have less IFR opportunities somehow.

The delta between conditions on departures versus returns is indeed odd, I have to say.


Frank Van Haste said...

Not so much disappointed as mildly surprised. And, there have been a couple of occasions when the DC area got just hammered by frontal wx on Thursday night and Friday was benign. Timing is everything!

I'll quote Nevil Shute again: "An uneventful journey is a good journey for the technician." (But it leaves the blogger with less to work with.)