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Another long Angel Flight post... - Tina Marie's Ramblings
Red hair and black leather, my favorite colour scheme...
skywhisperer
skywhisperer
Another long Angel Flight post...
My patient from Thursday night had to get home on Saturday.

I had planned to leave Weiser at 10am. At 7:30, I called for a weather briefing.

The good weather I'd been promised wasn't going to happen. Houston was okay - 1500ish overcast, bad visibility below it, but not too bad. Gulfport (my destination) was the real problem: severe thunderstorms. 1-inch hail. Tornadoes. 50mph gusts. Until noon.

This is not my ideal flying weather, even in the twin.

In an executive decision, I called my Ground Angel and my patient, and rescheduled for 12:30-1pm. She had to be home by 5, but I thought I could still do that - with the tailwinds forecast, I could make Gulfport in 2 hours. And the briefer promised me it would be getting better.

I drove to the airport, and spent the next 4 hours watching the line of thunderstorms. It was moving south and east, but not as fast as I'd like, but it was moving. A second line formed behind it, but it was starting to break up by noon.

At noon, I stopped looking at the weather - most of the yellow and red was past Gulfport - and got the plane fueled and ready, got her loaded when she got there, and we headed out. I'd filed for 9000 to get a tailwind, hoping to be on top so I could avoid any more storms that popped up.

They sent us back down to Galveston then out east. The Strikefinder (lightning detector) was showing a dot here and there, but it was just leftover static from the earlier convection. ATC gave us great routings. The line west of New Orleans had broken up, and we went though with just a bit of bumpiness.

When I got to Gulfport, the weather there was 1100 broken, 1500 overcast, so they gave me the ILS approach. They had to turn me in tight to avoid the storms out in the gulf, so I had trouble getting settled on the localizer. I did get the glideslope nailed, though, and being a bit left of course wasn't a big deal when I broke out at 1000 ft.

The landing wasn't pretty, because the twin really doesn't have much rudder at low speed, and the crosswind was bad. The whole trip, including the ILS, was about 2:15.

After we taxied in and shut down, the patient's husband said it had been storming and pouring down rain half an hour before. I couldn't have planned it any better - I was proud of myself.

We grabbed some lunch, and the trip home was entirely uneventful. We had to go up to McComb MS to avoid another line that had formed behind us, but at 4000 ft (we wanted to avoid taking that tailwind as a headwind going home), we were between layers and avoided it easily. To top it off, I finally had a good landing back at Weiser.

It was a very good day.

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Current Mood: good good

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