Holding Pattern

As typical, there’s the plan, there’s the back up plan, there’s the backup, backup plan, and then there’s reality.

The plan was to do long night dual cross country. N94-KRDG. I had it scheduled a week out and had put together what I thought was a pretty decent navigation log for it.  A little more difficult finding a lot of suitable visual landmarks at night but I was satisfied with the routing I made and could justify it in terms of risk management and proper ADM.

Weather forecasts were initially quite favorable but turned progressively worse against me as the day approached. Winds from the East, no problem, slight chance of rain was ok, but clouds coming in.  While hopeful for a positive change, I laid in backup plan 1.  If the ceilings were only marginal for VFR out to Reading, I negotiated down to still doing a dual night, staying in Class G in the pattern and getting at least 7 of the night landings done.  That was agreed.

Clouds continued to build and while the ceilings were still ok, that persistent rain began to fall. Foolishly hopeful, I figured I would wait till the last minute before calling it.  No need. My CFI sent the No Fly text.

Enter backup to the backup plan.  Weather on Friday was supposed to be clear. Since I still had my solo privileges I scheduled a solo flight to the practice area. I still have a healthy lists of maneuvers I’d like to nail to the PTS so it would be time well spent.

As forecast, Friday was clear…but of course, after a low pressure system leaves the area it has a tendency to get windy as the new high pressure comes in chasing after the low. And it delivered.  28019G25.  No Fly.

And I had a plan!

Well, time ran out and duty called.

Business trip to Asia.

Letting the professionals do the job again…

Of course, I rescheduled the dual night in advance of the trip and eagerly watching the weather once again.  From recent experience anything over a .002% chance of rain or wind and I’m sitting on the ground again. Hoping I am wrong there.

While in Asia the weather on the ground was pretty typical for the season.  In the air, it was a different story. Out here we have hurricanes. There….SUPER TYPHOONS! That just sounds so much worse.

Super Typhoon Lekima

It never threatened Taipei directly but our flight back to LAX was over it. Wish it was daylight during the flight. Settled for a lot of lateral turbulence.

During the trip, my mind needs to keep busy.  With the flight planning done, what to do?

Light Reading

I’m still a ways off in terms of taking the checkride but, after a few reads through this, I am still a ways off in terms of being able to pass the oral exam as well.  So, the timing was good and hopefully effort well spent.

Tomorrow’s the Dual Night. We’ll see how it goes.


Hoping for great weather all along the East Coast.

Caitlin….good luck on your checkride!



2 thoughts on “Holding Pattern

  1. Caitlin

    Thanks for the luck! I hope the weather works out for you soon. I understand, it’s been so crappy on the East Coast lately. But we’re getting a lot of crosswind practice!


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