Go No Farther

There are those pilots who will press on despite deteriorating weather conditions. Many tragic aviation stories start with, “I thought I’d go a litter farther and see if things got better.” Rarely do things get better. And when they get worse, they get a lot worse. Thus, when I was flying recently, this was the view ahead.

If you look just below the cowling, visibility is fairly good. However, over the nose, there’s plenty of mist and fog in those valleys and some of the mountain tops are most likely hidden. Now, the height of the mountains may be known and the altimeter will give the altitude of the aircraft. Someone might press on. Okay, what if something else goes wrong? Engine trouble or the like. Eh? What then? Put it down in the fog and hope for the best. Nah, I don’t think so. Here’s a view off the starboard side.

It looked dicey over there, too. Time to change the plan. Whenever I fly, I always have a few alternate airports pegged along the way. During this flight, only one was optimal and it was well short of my intended destination. Sad, but true. I turned for it and made it safely. Then, because I had plenty of time left until the plane needed to be returned, I swung out to York, PA. Here’s a shabby picture of that fine airport, looking back after getting on course.

The runway is that strip of asphalt above the quarry. The quarry itself helps to make this place easy to find. Landmarks like that are a blessing for pilots, especially when the weather is dodgy. All in all, this flight was a good one. The Cirrus performed beautifully, the diversion was good practice, and the traffic was light until I returned to home base, where there were two helicopters and three other planes going in or out. Looking forward to another cross country with better weather. Photos and commentary will be posted here.

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