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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stormy Weather

Last Friday afternoon I watched with concern as widespread convective weather developed over eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Around 21Z I made my way over to KBDR and pre-flighted N631S, then went into the FBO to have a look at the weather radar. It was, in a word, ugly (see the image below, from 2129Z):
I've gotten used to being able to find a way around the typical summer afternoon weather, but this wasn't typical. The NEXRAD returns showed serious weather echoes to the north, west and south. Severe thunderstorms were reported in the area, with the conditions forecast to persist throughout the evening.

I called Lockheed-Martin Flight Service and had a talk with one of their specialists. We looked at the radar picture and tried to figure out a viable strategy for making the trip down to the DC area that evening. Neither the usual routing over eastern PA nor the coastal routing down over NJ held promise.

Finally I said, "I hate to admit defeat, but I think I'm going to pack it in and make the trip tomorrow morning."

"I'm really glad you said that," the briefer replied. "Because if you launched tonight in this stuff, I was going to have to do a lot of paperwork."

So I set an alarm for 5:15 AM the next morning, was off the ground at 6:04 AM and was back on the ground at KVKX at 8:18 AM.

Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor...and you've got to know when to say no.

5 comments:

== T.J.== said...

gr8 decision! (which is why we get to read your blog instead of reading about you in the newspaper!!)

Frank Van Haste said...

Thanks, TJ. I know you'd do likewise, hope other readers will as well when their turn comes.

Frank

Sarah said...

Hi Frank! I saw you made it back in OK tonight...I waved at you from the west departure scope. Looked like a gorgeous day to fly!! :)

Frank Van Haste said...

Hey, Sarah, of course I waved back! It was a nice day to fly. And today was a nice day to change the oil, too.

Regards,

Frank

Tor Hershman said...

)))((((((
(*)...(*)
....U....
.[____].---{Just say, 'know when to say no'}