This weekend I had a planned flight across the state and although
the weather forecast for the weekend was good, we woke up to
totally grey skies. A quick peek at Foreflight on the iPad
showed that most of the clouds and fog were breaking up not far
from us, but that the takeoff and destination were the real
weather pinch points. The local weather was reporting "1/4M FG OVC001" and the destination
was "10SM OVC008" with forecasts for things to lift over
My biggest concern was the local temp was 2C, and that could make
things tough if the tops were 6,000' with temps below 32F.
I decided to call the briefer as there were no good pireps for
cloud tops which was my real concern, and he just gave the same
basic synopsis as I already knew...if I took off and made it 5
minutes, it would be an easy flight until near time to land.
No icing forecast, although temps were definitely close to it
being a possibility. In short, this was the kind of day you
just couldn't take off VFR and get out of there, even if you could
easily do the flight 20 miles later. With no tops available
it took a little consideration.
Driving to the airport it was questionable as to how thick these
clouds were. At times it seemed to be brighter daylight, and
then it would dim again. At one point I stared directly towards
the sun and could make out a defined circle, so that made the
decision easy...if you can see the circle, you'll be through it in
no time....especially with the RV-10's magnificent performance
specs! So we launched on the flight, and it was only a
matter of a minute and we had a beautiful sky above. By the
time we were landing, the ceilings had lifted to 1000' also, so
the approach was an easy one, and I opted to fly the approach to
the opposite end of the runway and then circle-to-land, as that
would save me a lot of time flying the straight in RNAV/GPS-13 at
KETB. It made for a really fun, and really "easy IFR"
flight. It's days like this that having an instrument rating
can really pay off. The biggest worry on this flight would
be a departure emergency, as making it back to the departure
airport could be very challenging...so you have to make your own
decisions as to what your personal takeoff minimums are. For
me, my landing minimums are whatever is published (Of course,
you always have to be prepared to fly to minimums, which I would
happily have done) ...but takeoff, I have to consider a lot
of factors. On this particular day it was an easy
choice. Check out the video below!
Here's a short video of
the flight. The takeoff was the most fun!