John & Anne Wiley

2013/08/07

Confession

As I shared back on April 18th, we loved exploring Annapolis on a bright Spring day as exemplified in this snap by Anne.

0533 Annapolis Spring

0533 Annapolis Spring

I did mention our dance with weather flying to NYC a few hours later, in the post I did here that night. But I didn’t show you the full story. The flight started off in great weather, and we stayed low to enjoy scenes like this paradise point for boaters near Bay Bridge.

2745 Boater Bungalows

2745 Boater Bungalows

Lucky pilots have homes next to a runway with airplanes in their garages, so I can imagine the boaters in these homes being just as happy. As I hinted in my earlier post tho, 15 minutes after takeoff I was no longer relaxed because the scene had changed to this.

2758 Weather Change

2758 Weather Change

That bank of clouds at the top is the edge of a wide swath I’d climbed to fly over, thinking based on weather reports that it was just a local fluke. But ahead were more clouds, so in this pic I’m descending to see if the base of the clouds is low enough to fly under. It wasn’t. By now I was very busy exploring options, listening to local airport weather reports and talking with ATC while climbing high again to add visual details on the changing weather.

2759 Up Again

2759 Up Again

That tiny white cloud you may not have noticed near the top was a clue for me that we needed to either choose a nearby airport, or find another route to NYC. Luckily, by now we were only a few minutes’ flight from the coast and a friendly airliner overheard my convo with ATC. He said, “We just took off out over the coast and the sky is totally clear along the shoreline to NYC.” As I made a climbing turn toward the coast to go extra far over the top of the low clouds, I told ATC of my plan. I knew that we still had plenty of options because there are many airports in this area. We were rewarded with this friendly scene.

2761 Seaside Heights, NJ

2761 Seaside Heights, NJ

The golden glow of afternoon sun shone through a hole in the clouds as if to welcome us. I didn’t realize then that this is where hurricane Sandy had devastated the Jersey Shore (just above this pic is where the fire was).

I named this post Confession because I didn’t fully share at the time that I’d been cautious about the weather changing from the great forecast. What I was starting to see nearby had me vigilantly keeping at least three clear airports within a couple of minutes’ flight. See, some of our loved ones are terrified of flying. So while we were on our long flying wander across the continent, I didn’t want to chance increasing their concerns. Not because there was really any risk, but in case they might worry while we were traveling.

After passing several more airports, we were cozy at Linden in a few minutes. There, feels good to get that off my chest and savor a few more pix. 🙂

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