Saved from cancelled flight by WSI WX!

This will be short, but, I'm catching up on the website and these pics I kept from a flight in early September that I was very happy with.  Without Foreflight and WSI being so "agreeable" I don't know how I would have made it.

It was a flight to Springfield, IL where I didn't want to have to do the 7+ hour drive, but rather wanted to fly the 2 hour flight, so I could attend a meeting.  That night, I went to sleep paranoid that the weather would be awful.  And with a 7-hour drive, cancelling the flight and driving would mean getting up REAL early, because the meeting started at 8:15 I think.  I didn't want that...and it was a MONDAY A.M. meeting...can you imagine anything stinking that much!?!  Well, I got up at 3am and never got back to sleep. The forcast was awful, the radar picture was awful, and I didn't know how it would work. I figured maybe I could skirt around the storm, but in doing the flight plan, that would turn the 2 hour flight into a 4 hour flight.  No way to do it. 
As my departure time approached, and I was sleepless, I got up and kept reading all the WX info I could.  It was VERY hard to get a good picture from any web site.  But, I could see that what was once a large single mass had split into 2 separate areas of storm.  Rather than filing direct, I finally decided to just get out of bed and drive to the airport.

On the way to the airport the ceiling was ragged but scattered by me.  I didn't file IFR because I wasn't about to fly IFR into a thunderstorm in the dark of the morning.  I instead filed VFR, picking a mid-way waypoint that would line me up to split the storm...and decided not to talk to anyone (ATC that is) until I was up high and knew how the real wx was.  I ended up being able to climb perfectly VFR to 7500' and all was well.  It was then tha the beauty foreflight picture totally agreed with my WSI in-flight picture...I could easily see the split storm cells.  And, I was VFR, and knowing that I've always been able to trust in WSI's green's and yellows, I felt much better.  Ahead I could see that I may have to fly through some clouds at my altitude, so I called ATC and picked up an IFR clearance, and got at IFR altitudes.  Now I was set.  I continued the flight, and ended up being perfectly VFR for all of the trip, with view of the ground the whole way.  The gap between the storm cells looked big on the screen, but in reality, as I flew through the middle, they weren't all that far off the wings on either side.  They were perfectly visible, and I was in smooth, bump free air, well away from them.  But they weren't 100 miles away...they were close enough to see easily.

At any rate, I made it through and all went well, and was at the meeting right after it started, even with all the mulling around looking at the WX.

The return flight is the flight where you see cloud pics. It was a HOT day, and I took off and saw towering CB's in front of me, with narrow gaps between them.  I hated the haze below, so started a climb, eventually having to ask for circle turns to gain altitude to try to get high enough to be where the gaps were.  They were maybe 10K - 15k' high.  After I shot through a gap (shown in the pics) I emerged out the other side in 5 minutes and was in clear skies all the way home.  If I'd have known they were that close (to clear skies), I'd have just flown under (with bases at 3000agl) and then climbed afterwards. Oh well.
On the way home though, I departed 15 minutes before meeting end, to beat approaching WX.  Again, WSI told me it was a go, and sure enough, as I approached home, the storms were by MSP.  When I landed and parked the plane, it started to turn grey real soon.  By the time I was driving home, I looked behind me to see a cell that developed, dumping intense rain on the airport. Had it been there before me, I could have easily gone to alternates, but I beat it easily.  Then later that night, our whole area got blasted by heavy storms.  With WSI/Foreflight/and an RV-10 though, I was able to make a plan that got me to and from the meeting in good time, and nice and safe!


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