Saturday, March 15, 2014

Plans and back-up plans

Today was supposed to be sunny and warm, so I'd planned to fly. My plane's been sitting over at the repair shop for almost a week now, waiting for me to fly it out of there. But alas, the winds today were gusting over 25 knots.

Still, the winds were almost down the center-line of the runway. I remembered a conversation I'd had last time I was at the airport with an old fellow who used to fly Navy carrier planes and he'd said that as long as it was a headwind, you could always take off and land.

Well why not? If he says that I can do it...

Just to be on the safe side, I called my "common sense lifeline", aka the head flight instructor at the airport. I put the question to him. Still my call, he said, but he had just canceled classes set up for a couple of commercial pilots due to the winds, and he said that he personally would not try to fly a Cessna 172 in those winds.

Then I recalled that my carrier pilot friend was flying significantly more capable aircraft and had a lot more training than I have.

So the million-dollar questions arose: Is it worth possibly bending the airplane up just for a flight that I really don't need to make? And if I did, could I convince my insurance carrier that it wasn't negligence on my part to fly under those conditions?

Damn, I hate it when common sense gets in the way of stuff that I really want to do. The plane's still at the repair shop as I write this. Maybe a dawn launch might work tomorrow before the winds pick up again.

So instead of flying, I took two friends to the dog park.
And they ran their paws off playing with each other and two dozen other dogs.
A good time was had by all.
And now they're both crashed out while I contemplate cooking and enjoying dinner in peace. Got some burgers, got the grill on the deck, got beer. Life's good.


  1. Today was NOT a fly day... Good call! And tired pups makes for a quiet night...

    1. But I WANT to fly, dammit!

  2. There are old pilots, and there are old pilots, but there are no old bold pilots!

    I think that was said by Wilbur Wright in 1903. It's no less true now than it was then,

    Alternatively, it's better being on the ground wishing you were up "there", than to be up there wishing you were done there. Been there, done that, absolute truth!

  3. Always better to be on the ground and wishing one was flying than to be flying and wish one was on the ground.

    (And no, I won't tell you that I flew out today for a $100 hamburger. Because that would be cruel of me.)

  4. Having done a lot of flying over a lot of years...

    Any time the plane is fresh from maintenance you want the very best conditions for the first flight.

    Under normal cases a headwind is nothing to get upset about but knowledge of what the weather has in store is as high winds means local Hi or Low and if it moves the winds could easily become a significant crosswind. Then things can get exciting.

    take care, like Comrade Misfit said....


  5. Anonymous4:42 PM

    An intact plane,burgers,beer and pooped out puppies equals a good day