One Crazy Aviation Weekend

It was supposed to be a normal weekend. A quick flight on Thursday night, morning classes on Friday morning, and a relaxing Saturday and Sunday filled with sports/sleep. I showed up for the first part of this at the airport on Thursday. I was going to do a cross country to Bowman Field (KLOU) in Louisville. It was going to be a quick flight, and I’d go home and study for a fitness class I had in the morning. I got a weather briefing from the phone (1-800-WxBrief), and I specifically paid attention to ceilings, icing, and snow forecasts. I listened through the entire briefing, writing down important notes, and she asked me, “Is there any other piece of information I can give you today?.” I looked at the picture of weather I had drawn on my iPad, and decided to ask again about the icing AIRMET (a minor weather warning), snow forecast, and ceilings through the route. She confirmed what I had heard, icing above 14,000 feet, a lowest ceiling of 3,500 in Frankfort, and dissipating snow to the south. I thanked her and hung up. It looked like a great marginal-VFR (just good enough to fly visual conditions) IFR flight. We took off, and over Lexington, my instructor Anthony got a little concerned that we had hit some moderate snow and clouds. He looked at the wings and noticed light icing. We reported it to ATC and requested a lower altitude to melt it off. We were granted it and handed off to Louisville Approach. They would not give us a lower altitude until we had reached 20 miles from the initial fix (a waypoint in the sky) into Bowman Field. We were flying through clouds and snow, but thankfully not picking up any icing. I suggested we stop at Bowman Field and look at the weather instead of turn around to go back to Richmond. He agreed, and we made it in and landed. The briefing I had received was basically very wrong, but it wasn’t her fault, that’s just weather. My old instructor was in the FBO, and he’s great with weather. He said we made the right decision and he gave the advice that we wait until 10 to leave. Anthony went to his parents’ house to eat, and I did the same. I was at my Grandma’s house meeting family while I could, when Anthony said we were going to stay the night. So I went home, and finished a study guide for the test in the morning, and got five hours of sleep. I showed up at the airport at 5 in the morning to find frost all over the wings and windshield. I stayed the day at Bowman Field waiting for it to melt, and a Chinook army helicopter would have flipped our plane over had I not moved it-they are truly powerful machines. We got back to Richmond, and made the aviation “Safety Stand Down” which was a mandatory aviation meeting. I’m getting an excuse for the missed work, and I got to experience my first true IFR flying on the return trip. On the way back, we flew through clouds and “cloud surfed” (going in and out on top of clouds) since the temperature was too low to put icing on our wings. It’s truly special, and I loved it. I’m almost ready to take a check ride, I just need some extra hours and to pass a stage check test with Gary Harp-a tester. I need to catch up on reading and homework tonight, so I’ll be heading to the library. It was neat to be home for a night and not have to drive back to Richmond! It was a crazy weekend, hopefully this week will be smooth getting back into classes that I missed. Sorry for the lengthy post, have a great week!

Matt

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About mcjonesqwe

I'm an aviation student at Eastern Kentucky University. I love flying and learning about aviation. I'm from Louisville, Kentucky and I'm staying on campus in Richmond for school. I'm on the GlobalAir.com scholarship blog team and logging my flight training on Chasing FL180.
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