Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Looking at the radar, the weather forecast is not good. At least not if I want to fly tonight. The thunderstorms are beginning to build. I just spoke to Joe, and we are going to wait an hour, to see how it develops. If I hadn't had this flight scheduled, I could have left at a more reasonable 5pm. So I hope the extra waiting wasn't a waste.

Funny thing about the weather around here. We are in a valley which runs northeast from Roanoake, VA up into Pennsylvania before turning eastward. The airport is about halfway between the cities of Harrisonburg and Staunton. (Both about ten miles distant). Now the interesting part, is that when weather is moving in from the west or southwest- within a relatively narrow range- more often than not it will miss the airport completely, breaking apart momentarily just south of here, and reforming on the other side. It has become largely predictable to me, after just a few years around here. Local orographic features tend to do that most of the time.

As difficult as it is sometimes to show up at 7am and then leave well after sunset, I always enjoy night flight. At first it can be a challenge, when students start to lose the sense of which way is up. I never really felt that in an airplane, but when I started flying helicopters, it became a real issue to me.

The primary lesson plan tonight was to do some unusual attitudes recovery practice, then finish off the required takeoffs and landings (with a couple of instructor-provoked system failure scenarios). Joe's tendency is to get a little slow on finaly approach, so I have to break him of that habit also.

Hopefully, the storms will give us enough leeway to make the flight.


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