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  •  and ArchTeryx: if you're in West TX pray (13+ / 0-)

    there's not a tornado in the squall line.

    We have had more GA aircraft than you can shake a stick at destroyed on the ground out here in the South Plains/Panhandle's "springtime weather".

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 08:37:38 AM PDT

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    •  Of course, that's always a possibility. (14+ / 0-)

      But, something a lot of pilots don't seem to think about: better the plane destroyed on the ground with you safely indoors, then destroyed in the air with you in it.

      Too many GA pilots think they can beat the squall line.  My father lost a friend that way.

      •  the guys I get to watch without driving (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ArchTeryx, terabytes, FarWestGirl

        several hours, now, are all cropdusters.

        They know better, but whatareyagonnado when the weather's between you and home?

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 08:57:21 AM PDT

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        •  Land and find a hotel. (8+ / 0-)

          Most GA pilots have a fair bit of money, at least in my father's day - even back in the 70s and early 80s, fuel was very expensive, as were plane rentals.  If you could afford to go up, you could afford to stay over a night somewhere.

          It's tough; there are times where all you want to be is home, and I've DRIVEN through some pretty hairy conditions at times.  But there comes a point where the best thing I could do was pull off the road and wait for the weather to pass, or find a rest stop and crash a few hours.  Better I get home late then get home never.

          GA aircraft are very fragile, cramped little boxes.  They may as well be balsa wood compared with the power of even a small thunderstorm.  When my father and I went up, we always checked our METARS and if thinks looked like they might get hairy, we stayed put.  Nowadays, in the ADS-B era, pilots can track the storms in real time from the air.  That gives you far more warning, but it can also breed overconfidence.  The ADS-B ain't gonna fly your plane through a story.

          •  most of these folks *own* their planes (4+ / 0-)

            (well, them and the bank) and the 'dusting is an added income to something like a farm or ranch. "Home" is a dirt strip in a pasture, and the money for a rented room would be maybe do-able, but what about the rental car to get to it? Not so much, usually.

            I am learning to love NOAA apps for my Nexus 7, plugged into the lighter socket on my truck....

            LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:06:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, that's a special case. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BlackSheep1

              It can make the 'go/no-go' decision more complex, to be certain, if you're flying an Air Tractor with a loan and you're just trying to make a living, as opposed to being a hobby pilot.

              But the risks are still the same.  Sometimes, you have to pick the least bad option and fly (or land) with it.

              •  yep. If the least bad option (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ArchTeryx

                is a fast run to the nearest blue patch, I can see how it appeals.

                I wish I could fly.

                LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                by BlackSheep1 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:24:58 PM PDT

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          •  Scott Crossfield died trying to fly through a cell (6+ / 0-)

            I figure if he couldn't do it, I sure can't!

            If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

            by Major Kong on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:22:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So did my father's friend. (4+ / 0-)

              Same circumstance.  He tried to fly south around a squall line, apparently misjudged, and (from what radar tracks could be found in the early 1980s) ended up going right into the southernmost cell.  They found pieces of his plane - and him - scattered across half a square mile of land.

              The NTSB figured that either he'd run smack into a Martian tripod, or into one of the squall line storms.  That same squall line later put down a tornado that threatened my family (though it did no damage, fortunately).

              Storms are no joke, though at least, Major Kong, you're not trying to fly a Cessna or Piper through one.  There's "sporty conditions" and then there's "guaranteed fatality".

            •  Even Chuck Yeager thought he was reckless. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueyedace2

              “You think You're frightening me with Your hell, don't You? You think Your hell is worse than mine.” --Dorothy Parker

              by Ice Blue on Tue May 27, 2014 at 01:33:30 PM PDT

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      •  A classmate's father had a ticket for that (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomFromNJ, sawgrass727, ArchTeryx, Lilith

        flight from Atlanta to Huntsville that crashed due to wx in the late '70s. The aircraft had an airborne radar though back then it was fairly primitive. The NTSB later found the crew likely ran smack into one of Major Kong's blind alleys. It flew between two bad thunderstorms and hit one that was worse. A lot of people died.

        This girl's father was in a meeting that ran overtime so he had to book a later flight.

        “You think You're frightening me with Your hell, don't You? You think Your hell is worse than mine.” --Dorothy Parker

        by Ice Blue on Tue May 27, 2014 at 01:28:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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