Monday, May 16, 2011

A Bit Too Low for Me

The widespread low IFR weather in the Northeast has led me to opt this week for travel via AMTRAK from DC to Connecticut. Here are some of the METAR's on offer at 1330Z, about the time I'd have been nearing KBDR had I taken N631S out of the hangar this morning:

KBDR 161312Z 05009KT 2SM -RA BR OVC005 12/11 A2974 RMK AO2 RAB05 P0000
KOXC 161245Z 08009G16KT 050V110 1/2SM FG VV002 10/09 A2975
KDXR 161310Z 06007KT 1 1/2SM BR OVC004 11/11 A2974 RMK AO2
KBDL 161251Z 01009KT 10SM -DZ OVC012 12/09 A2978 RMK AO2 SLP085 P0000 
KPOU 161253Z 11006KT 10SM -RA OVC011 13/11 A2970 RMK AO2 RAB18E33B53 
KHVN 161253Z 03008KT 10SM OVC005 13/11 A2973 RMK AO2 SLP068 T01280111
KGON 161256Z 04014G19KT 10SM OVC007 12/10 A2975 RMK AO2 SLP075 T01220100
That observation for KBDR – light rain, mist, and overcast at 500 feet – is just what the Terminal Area Forecast (TAF) was calling for, and it isn't terrible. The minimums for the ILS Rwy 6 approach are one mile and 300 feet, so you could take a shot. My problem is that the low conditions are very widespread and expected to continue for quite a while.

If I took the chance, flew up to KBDR and was unable to get in, I would have needed to divert (probably to Bradley (KBDL) or Poughkeepsie (KPOU)) and would have been faced with a long-ish drive in a rental car. So, I opted for the certainty of the train.

Of course, this locks me into rail travel for the return trip on Friday when, presumably, the sun will be shining. Ah, well, that's aviation.

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