Saturday, 19 October 2013

This is getting beyond a joke.

It has been a while since I got any decent flying in and it is beginning to bug me.  This weekend had been looking marginal but the Friday evening TAF was mildly optimistic, so Bob and I decided to give it a bash.

I got down to the flight school a little later than initially planned, the flight before me had been delayed so the instructor called me to ask if it was OK if they bumped me for 30 minutes or so.  This gave me time to look out the window and contemplate the weather.
It was looking a little grey to be honest, not much in the way of horizon and it was definitely a case of when it was going to rain, not if. I was a little nervous about the conditions. I took some time to figure out which way the weather was coming from and figure out what would be my alternate airport if I got weathered in.

Winds were from the south west which leads to the distinct possibility of my getting out to Claremont and City getting weathered in. So Oshawa would be my “bolt hole”, I looked at the runway configuration and made sure I had the ATIS and tower frequencies on my chart. Worst case scenario planned for.
At the flight school I waited for Bob and my plane to land. I got chatting with various people down there. The METAR and TAF remained OKish. As long as I wasn’t out too long, I’d beat the rain.

I got a bit distracted by a conversation Bob was having with one of the examiners and was caught off guard when Bob asked me “so how’s the weather looking?” I shrugged and said “Ok I think as long as I’m back before 12:00,” and then realised that this was a terrible answer to give, especially in front of an examiner and added “I’m just about to go call flight services to check.”
I sat on the steps and called, rapidly scribbling notes as I got the full briefing. Just for a laugh below are my notes

Roughly interpreted

Radar at 13:15Zulu showing a mid level trough with precipitation

Ceilings are dropping

Conditions will become marginal @ midday

Claremont is expected to be IFR @ 18:00Z

Pearson (YYZ) is already showing overcast cloud at 2800 ft

System developing more quickly than expected  

 I duly reported this back to Bob, he nodded and pulled up the METAR and TAF for himself, talking through it he noted the dropping ceilings, but the still flyable conditions at one airport, compared it to another in the vicinity, studied the METAR there, reading off the figures for himself.
I allowed this to continue for a minute before saying “Bob, stop stalking the weather. I’m not going.”

I have no idea if Bob was truly indecisive or if he was waiting for me, but I had made my call.
Yet another weather cancellation.

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