Wednesday, July 7, 2010

2010 Summer Adventure - Days 4 thru 6

Most pilots have heard a variation of the following phrase at some point in their training or flying career:
"It's better to be on the ground, wishing you were flying, than to be flying, wishing you were on the ground."
Well that's what I was faced with in the middle of our trip. No matter how much I consulted the radar, Flight Service, and the weather gods we found ourselves stuck in Escanaba. We beat the weather in on Sunday (the original plan was to depart Tuesday morning) and then it never really left us behind. At least we got to spend some extra time with Gina's grandma!

Whether it was a line of thunderstorms and convective SIGMETs or LIFR ceilings and fog, the prognosis was not very conducive to VFR flight. I'll push my comfort zone slightly from time to time and build experience but it's certainly not something I was about to do on a long cross-country adventure over unfamiliar territory.

Let's just call this experience Why Having an Instrument Rating is Useful 101!


  1. I told my wife that when we do a cross country flight, we have to plan for the possibility of being stuck, maybe for a few days.

    Then I told her this was a temporary issue. I added that when I got my instrument rating, we'd have more options.

    Good decision making...I won't tolerate any NTSB reports!!! ;)

  2. Yup, that's one of the reasons I chose this week to make the trip. I've got the whole time off work so there's no pressure to make it back. Turns out we needed the time!

    We're actually in Kalamazoo staying with my sister right now - the front is still between here and Dayton so we couldn't make it all the way tonight. We flew from Escanaba to Oshkosh, past downtown Chicago (awesome!) along the lakeshore, and then followed the coast until turning direct Kalamazoo.

    Photos and video to follow as always - hopefully after we make it home sometime tomorrow!

  3. It is really a good post, i like it very much!

  4. Always a great decision to come back and play (fly) another day. Sounds like a good call. Heck, a great time to explore and add to the adventure!

  5. Indeed, it all worked out for the best.

    Working on the posts/videos from the final two legs of the trip - we made it to Kalamazoo via Oshkosh and Chicago last night and back to Dayton this evening.

  6. Reminds me of a saying when trying to slow down teenage drivers:
    "It's better to lose a minute of your life, than lose your life in a minute"

  7. Steve,
    I've enjoyed the same trip to Mackinaw and got stuck in Door County due to IFR conditions. It prompted me to get my instrument rating. Trouble is, you need to practice it constantly or you lsoe it. Not like riding a bike.