Thursday, December 29, 2005

Foiled Again

The IFR Pilot was once again scheduled for an Angel Flight, this time from CAK to AZO. JP was to co-pilot. Since the recent Angel Flights announced in advance here ended up being scrubbed, no announcement was made of this one, in hopes that the Weather Gods would favor us this time.


This afternoon's TAFs for CAK and AZO were as follows:

KCAK 292013Z 292018 31010KT 6SM -RA BR OVC004
TEMPO 2024 1 1/2SM -RASN BR OVC007
FM0000 31008KT 3SM -DZ BR OVC006
FM0200 31008KT 5SM BR OVC010
FM0500 30006KT 5SM BR OVC015
FM1000 VRB04KT 4SM BR OVC010
FM1400 10006KT 5SM BR OVC015
KAZO 291721Z 291818 33010KT P6SM OVC012
FM2100 32006KT P6SM OVC018
FM0000 00000KT P6SM OVC012
FM0600 00000KT 4SM BR OVC009
FM1200 00000KT 4SM BR OVC004
FM1500 12006KT 4SM BR OVC004
Departure was scheduled for 1500 UTC tomorrow, with arrival in AZO roughly 1:40 later. In deference to the patients, so they could make alternate arrangements before the proverbial eleventh hour, the IFR Pilot decided to cancel. Also, the pilot of leg #1 wasn't sure he was going to be able to get out anyway, due to low icing levels between BWI and CAK, so that made it easier to say "no go."

Sure, a 400 foot ceiling is double the minimums at AZO (which has the standard 200' DH). But that's pretty low, with no guarantee that conditions would be trending toward the better. More importantly, that means taking off for the return flight into extremely low conditions, well below the IFR Pilot's personal minimum of a 1000' ceiling for takeoff.

In addition, the tower at AZO isn't open all the time. The ILS 35 is noted that when the tower is closed, you must use the altimeter setting from KSBN. But, that raises the DH to 410. So, if the tower experiences a power failure (or is otherwise closed for some aberrant reason) and we're forced to use the South Bend altimeter and the forecast ceiling materializes, we're SOL from the get-go.

All in all, that's a recipe for a scrubbed flight. Again.

Hopefully, the patients are able to catch a flight via Southwest. Perhaps the IFR Pilot will spend Friday getting ready for multi-engine training, which will be here in a couple weeks! Stay tuned.

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