Well I guess it was a bit optimistic to expect that I could fly from one side of the country to the other on my way to Sun 'n Fun without the weather intervening. A good reminder that while small planes offer great freedom and flexibility they don't do thunderstorms really well. So any big cross-country plan needs to include plenty of fat so you don't fall victim to press-on-itis. With this in mind I'm sitting out Tuesday in Mississippi and will have another go tomorrow. Still plenty of air show left so no need to attempt to outrun lightning.
The first two hours of Sun n Fun 2018 were great, and then came the rain and the the lightning. At 4 PM is was still coming down, the outside vendors had hunkered down and headed for the bars, and so did just about everyone else.
Well, the weather came back with a vengeance today at SNF, but nothing stops the dedicated crew at Van's from helping a builder. So, here we are in a tent during a torrential downpour including lightning and loud thunder, using iPhones for flashlights and explaining riveting techniques. Continue reading "That electric feeling"
Flying through the holiday season has its challenges - climatically, winter is blowing in and that means fast-moving systems with lots of cold. In the summer, we worry about heat energetic in the atmosphere kicking up connective activity. When cold, high pressure moves in it brings high winds and all the mechanical issues associated with low temperatures - cold engines, cold tires, cracking plastic and frosted up windows. Some of these are nuisances, some are hard on aircraft, and some - icing - can make flying hazardous. Continue reading "The Tundra in Winter"
You could fly commercial to visit Sun 'n Fun and stay in a hotel and drive to the venue, but you would be missing out on some elements of the experience. For my first visit to the show I chose to fly out from the West Coast which was an adventure in itself. I must confess to becoming an iThingy cripple. Without two GPS moving maps and ADS-B weather and traffic I feel deprived.
This year's west coast winter is challenging for non-flight-into-known-icing aircraft, even those with full IFR capabilities! Storm after storm keeps coming onshore, and flying up in the mountains in cold wet clouds just doesn't work. So it takes a little strategy, and some timing. Continue reading "Waiting it Out"