Monday, March 17, 2008

Below Minimums [sic]

Saturday, I went to Logan to help the glider club with our annual.  I had planned to fly down in the Cherokee Six,  but when I checked the weather before breakfast, Logan had a 100 foot ceiling.  The forecast was for improvement, but the weather was lower than forecast already.  The approach lights were out of service, too.  This potential accident chain had too many strong links for me.  I have seen down through a 100 foot ceiling, but that was at night with approach lights.  There would be ice on the approach, and while the Six has a lot of power (especially with just me), it has no deicing equipment.  I did once have it in ice so bad that it would not climb, over the Cascades.  I did not like the idea of being at the bottom of a steep valley in an iced-up airplane.  Besides, the weather was even iffier for the return.  I drove.

One always questions these decisions, with the macho pilot inside saying that you had handled that kind of weather before, while the instructor inside saying that it really was a VFR-only airplane.  The drive down was mostly in VFR conditions, but as I got closer to Logan there was some fog, and when I turned off the highway to the airport I had to slow down, because the visibility was well below one quarter mile.

We had fun with the glider (there were more hands than the work required, so it went quickly, and we didn't find anything wrong), but when I started home my wife said that it had been snowing all day.  Home was a mess, with wet sticky snow, the kind that always makes a ton of mixed iced.  

A good day for driving, all around.

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