Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Weather And Flying: It's Beginning To Sound A Lot Like No-Go

Today I was supposed to get airborne and finish my checkout on the Dakota. Just a quick cross-country from Pontiac to Lansing and back.

The weather in October frankly sucked - any time the instructor was available and I booked the flight it was below VFR conditions.

Today looked do-able, VFR conditions were forecast at both Pontiac and Lansing with good visibility but with broken cloud layers above 4,000. Kinda windy with crosswinds that would be very brisk but inside both the airplane and my own crosswind capabilities.

While the weather looks good the weather briefer had information that changed that outlook.

A weather system is moving in quickly from the north bringing lower overcast layers so VFR flying could be in question and we'd have to be below 3,500 to be out of the clouds. The freezing level was all the way to the ground, and Lansing had a potential forecast for precipitation which would mean icing, and the whole area has an Airmet ZULU for icing.

The weather briefer isn't allowed to tell you to go or not to go. They can however be rather crafty in making hints. I've never before heard such definitive hinting language from a briefer that going would be all sorts of a bad idea.

I can take a hint.

Not happy-making, but choosing to fly into known icing conditions in a non-known-icing capable aircraft is not a smart decision. Ice on aircraft makes for all kinds of bad things.

Talking it over with the instructor I said on that basis I wouldn't fly in that weather by myself, and after he checked the weather over he agreed as well with cancelling it. So a weather-scratch it was.

Ah well, the checkout will have to wait a bit longer.

3 comments:

Joe Mama said...

Old pilots, bold pilots and all that.

I would miss you if you got splattered on a landfill somewhere.

B said...

Better safe than dead. Old/bold and all that, as Joe says above.

I found my limits with wind today.

Old NFO said...

Smart move.