Friday, February 19, 2010

Decision Criteria

I could hear the wind buffeting the vinyl siding when I got out of bed at 6:00AM. My "Flurry" weather clock said it was blustery in Reading, but I needed more information before I could make a decision.

Most of the area airports were reporting some winds, but many were only 10-15MPH and close to runway heading. So far, my monthly escape into the blue was a Go. That was at 6:30Am. Each half hour it got a bit worse, picking up speed and veering more out of the Northwest. My backyard weather station showed average wind speed to be increasing.

Hmm, what am I comfortable with? Gusts to 20MPH at 45 degrees to the runway is unacceptable to me. If I check the performance data (Fig 5-8) I'm still within the envelope for the crosswind component for the airplane, but what about me? If I were flying every week maybe, but once a month even with my experience, has degraded my abilities. So what is a reasonable metric?

Gusts less than 18MPH within 30 degrees.

So I've set my "rule of thumb" for guidance, now what are the current conditions? Rats. Not only Wings, but all of the local area fields are outside my criteria and the trend continues to get worse.

Reservation from 02/19/10 10:00 to 02/19/10 12:00 has been canceled.
Weather - gusty winds

Friday, February 12, 2010

Closed for snow removal - airplane not available

"The worst winter weather in a lifetime" said the local meteorologist. I've been shoveling snow for two days and have a narrow slot down the driveway for the vehicles to get through. Evidently the airport has the same problem. Most of the planes are still snowed in and the taxiways are all iced over. The skies are clear, but I just can't get to them.