My Flight Journal

Saturday, October 30, 2004 12:35pm

Well, hell.

Woke up to hazy/foggy skies this morning. Waited around a while, drove out to the airport and waited around a while some more. Finally launched at 9:30 into still hazy skies, with the optimistic hopes of it clearing as the sun got higher.

Visibility was about 4 miles (which is lower than I'm supposed to be flying in). Thankfully I took my GPS on this trip. At 4500ft I could barely see the ground. There's no way I could have navigated by ground reference. The VORs and the GPS were the only reasons I didn't turn right back around.

I got to Lakeland just shy of 1hr. Visibility was up to 5 or 6 miles if you squinted real hard. Left Lakeland headed north. About half way to Gainesville I started picking up the ATIS. They were calling 1 mile visibility and 100ft ceilings. Awwwww crap. Dial in the Ocala ATIS and 300ft ceilings there. Visibility where I was was still pretty bad, but I could start to see that there was a layer forming up below me. Thinking this could get real bad, real quick.

I punch up 'nearest airport' on the GPS, select Leesburg (which was about 6 or 7 down on the list) and turn that way. I do know where I'm at, and I know that Leesburg is pretty much exactly between me and home. Dial in the Leesburg ATIS and it's still VFR there. Thank God.

Long story shorter, I make it back to Sanford where the visibility was no better than it was 2hrs ago when I left. So now I still need to make a 3 pt cross-country. I expect the weather tomorrow will be similarly crappy until we get a cold front to come thru and clear the air.

On the up side, I got my 2hr short XC done. I can also see now that that trip I had planned today would have been WAY more than 3 hours. I was only getting 95kts ground speed at 2400rpm in that bucket. And there were no winds to speak of today.

Anyway, I've still got an airplane until 2pm tomorrow. Maybe the weather gods will be kind and will let me fly tomorrow. I need to come up with a new 3-pointer. That one today would have been much too long.

Oh, and flying with no visible horizon, in a plane that will not maintain level on its own REALLY sucks.

Wonder if I can log an hour of actual for that.

Back      (55)      Next

  1. In the beginning   (pages 1 - 5)   6. Hurricane Season Begins   (pages 42 - 47)
  2. Pre-Solo   (pages 6 - 21)   7. Hurricane Season Ends   (pages 48 - 54)
  3. First Solo!   (pages 22 - 26)   8. Solo Cross-Countries   (pages 55 - 58)
  4. First Night XC   (pages 27 - 32)   9. Checkride!   (page 59)
  5. Longest Flight Yet   (pages 33 - 41)  
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