I actually canceled a flight due to WX

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Ted DuPuis, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    24,223
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    #bandozer
    I think some people believe I never cancel a trip due to weather. Indeed, it is rare. Between flying capable equipment with good altitude performance and making careful studies of the weather on complex days to have a plan, the reality is most of the time you can get where you're going.

    Today I was supposed to pick up a load of dogs in Fort Worth TX, deliver them to Fort Lauderdale, and then fly back home. Originally the flight was supposed to take place yesterday, and I cancelled it due to the certainty of bad thunderstorms all around the DFW area and for a good portion of the flight to Florida and back. Today looked better.

    Indeed, today was better, and looked doable, were it not for that cold front. By itself I don't mind crossing a cold front, but what went with it just kept getting worse. Thunderstorm chances grew to bigger thunderstorm chances. The line of storms grew from ending at the coast to almost making it down to Cancun. I had originally planned to go around the south side of the storm, as the shortest route, and thought that would work. No such luck.

    Then the progs added a squall line directly on my route of flight, both ways.

    Nope, that's it, I'm out. Not much certainty of being able to get through, and getting stuck with a plane load of dogs is not where I want to be. Even if I made it to Florida, then I'd need to make it home, and with my wife being out of town I have to get back to pick up the girls from the babysitter (I was going to bring my son along with me).

    Instead, the kids and I had a fun day around the property getting a few more chores done and generally having fun.

    Watching the radar to see what actually happened, it was not a line I would've wanted to cross. There really weren't any holes, just "less bad" areas. Looking at the PIREPs around the line from today, even the big iron jets weren't having a fun time, so it was a good call. If I was flying something that could go to FL450, it'd be different, but at FL250 max (and the engines straining to keep the plane up there), not gonna happen.

    So yes, even Ted makes no-go decisions sometimes.
     
    Eric Stoltz, MIFlyer, TCABM and 3 others like this.
  2. 3393RP

    3393RP Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,171
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    3393RP
    Good for you. The WX here in the DFW area yesterday was brutal, and the disturbance that created those strong storms moved East. There were tornadoes in Mississippi that killed three people.
     
  3. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    10,572
    Location:
    NM or the emergency room...
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Billy
    Sometimes the hardest thing to do is say nope, not today.
     
  4. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    5,967
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Luvflyin
    Good job. I'd much rather be hearing about your good day 'from' you rather than your 'bad' day from someone else
     
    ircphoenix likes this.
  5. Walt

    Walt Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    180
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FOXMIKE
    Probably better to stay home and watch the Masters. They went to plan B to avoid the weather so it was all over by shortly after noon. Understand Tiger has a check for 1.9mil and the bookies in Vegas had a huge losses.
     
  6. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    24,223
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    #bandozer
    The tornado aspect was something I was strongly expecting from looking at those storms and the general conditions. Fly high enough and it's not an issue, but FL250 probably wouldn't have been high enough.

    What is this "watching" of "masters" you speak of? ;)
     
  7. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,872
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bob Gardner
    BTDT, more than once. One memorable cancellation was a Part 135 flight for Boeing, to deliver an instrument to a plane grounded (for lack of the instrument) in Canada. Major weather system over the whole northwest w/thunderstorms. I gracefully declined and the world did not stop spinning.

    Bob
     
  8. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    6,458
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pasta Man
    Saturday was indeed bad here. We had 1.5" hail at the house.
     
  9. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    24,223
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    #bandozer
    Indeed. It proved a good learning point for my son, too. I was going to bring him along, and he wants to be a pilot when he grows up. He was upset and worried I'd left without him when he woke up with the sun yesterday morning. I told him I had to cancel the trip due to "really bad weather," and said "Part of being a good pilot is knowing when not to fly."

    Hopefully he remembers that.
     
    3393RP and MIFlyer like this.
  10. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    24,223
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    #bandozer
    Yeah, and that was part of my concern. That looked like the kind of line that would throw a bunch of hail at me. Not interested in that.
     
  11. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2018
    Messages:
    1,872
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kenny Phillips
    Ah, that is referring to a so-called "sport" that will waste more time than aviation. Vaguely related to the world's oldest profession, in this case.
     
    Ted DuPuis likes this.
  12. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,110
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jack Fleetwood
    Good call on not going. I'm a storm chaser when I'm not chasing airplanes and I was in Franklin, TX when it got hit. The tornado was EF3 and trees looked like a giant hand reached down and twisted them. A trailer house was rolled over, and many more were completely flattened. Two children were killed when a tree fell on a car they were in. It was worse because it was rain-wrapped and almost impossible to see.
     
  13. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    22,222
    Location:
    Michigan
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ed Frederick
    Post reported. Ted's account has obviously been hacked
     
  14. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    24,223
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    #bandozer
    Originally the flight was supposed to be Saturday. When I woke up on Saturday and saw what actually had happened I knew delaying to Sunday was the right call. Saturday was an absolute no-go.

    Sunday, well, was better but still bad.
     
  15. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    514
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Andrew Sarangan, CFII
    I cancelled one this morning even though the storm had passed last night. But slight icing potential and turbulence was there, and with passengers flying first time in a GA airplane was enough to call the cancellation.
     
  16. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,835
    Location:
    New York City
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Skip Miller
    FTFY. Good on ya! :)
     
  17. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    10,360
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    Well sounds like it’s time to upgrade to a Challenger then and get in top of that weather. Doggies got places to go!
     
    flyingcheesehead and Ted DuPuis like this.
  18. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    24,223
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    #bandozer
    Remember my April Fool's joke? Lear 35. ;)
     
    Velocity173 likes this.
  19. iamtheari

    iamtheari Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,531
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ari
    With every additional capability a pilot has (whether granted by ratings or by equipment), the go/no-go decision becomes more complicated. When you add an instrument rating, suddenly you don't have an automatic "no-go" because of clouds and you have to investigate what's in the clouds to make a good decision. Add deice or anti-ice equipment and you have to investigate not just whether the clouds might create ice but whether the ice they create will exceed the equipment. Add pressurization and turbines and you have to pick from many more altitudes than those of us with simpler aircraft. Compared to me, poor @Ted DuPuis has to consider much, much more of the atmosphere's shenanigans before he decides to fly. Good for Ted's ADM keeping pace with his equipment. Nobody here is surprised about that, but there are pilots whose equipment/ratings reach exceeds their ADM grasp, often to dramatically ill effect.

    In fairness, I haven't yet run into a 'bad' no-go decision. I almost thought I found one last weekend when I was "on the ground wishing I were flying" for 12 hours in the car because the destination TAF showed ceilings below ILS minimums and reality turned out to be far better than forecast. But the highways have places you can pull over and wait out a storm or take a nap; the airways do not. So I'm still here to complain about overly-conservative TAFs.
     
    Eric Stoltz, danhagan and Ted DuPuis like this.
  20. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    24,223
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    #bandozer
    This is very similar to something @tonycondon said years ago. Essentially each extra rating or capability means that on average, the go decision is easier, but when it gets challenging, it gets much more challenging. Yesterday was one of those days. It would've been an easy no-go in any of the previous aircraft, in the MU-2 it was harder.

    I agree. Generally if that happens, though, I'll ask myself what I could've checked that would've somehow given me more information and perhaps helped me to predict that the ceilings would've been better than whatever forecast I saw (or worse). So still not necessarily a bad no go, just a question of learning more, and then also risk assessment for what you're willing to do. A lot of times I look at Skew-Ts and can get a better granularity for what will actually happen than what the raw forecasts might predict.

    As I said, most of the time I'm able to figure out a plan for how to deal with weather looking at the various tools we have at our disposal as pilots. The fact that I fly such long distances also helps since you can usually figure out a way around en route stuff when going that far. But sometimes... just not happening.
     
  21. iamtheari

    iamtheari Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,531
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ari
    I always try to learn from my no-go 'mistakes' but sometimes the only lesson to learn is 'it is okay to say no.' Last weekend was the latter, with two must-attend hard-schedule events in separate cities on different days and no realistic Plan B that was lower-risk than just driving in the first place. I refuse to get into the plane unless I have a good Plan B. (I think that this is basically 100% of the go/no-go decision, and that safe flight planning mostly consists of planning out a good Plan B.)
     
    Ted DuPuis likes this.
  22. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2018
    Messages:
    1,872
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kenny Phillips
    Yeah ... "Challenger, go for throttle-up ..."
     
  23. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    10,360
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    Yep. Just so happens the only two business jets I’ve ever been on were a Lear and a Challenger. An AF Lear with no AC :( and a FAA flight check Challenger with a lot of cool stuff in the back.
     
    Ted DuPuis likes this.
  24. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    24,223
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    #bandozer
    I've never flown on a bizjet, or even been in one with the engines running. My wife is the cool one and I got to see her taxi the CL 300 up a few weeks ago and check it out with the APU running after the pax had left.
     
    Velocity173 likes this.
  25. Lance F

    Lance F En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,504
    Location:
    GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Lance F
    So I did do that line yesterday in a C414A, and it was a rough day. Left Ft. Pierce, FL KFPR with 5 pax around 2:30pm after already flying 3 hours that morning for Destin, FL KDTS. I briefed them the chances were very real that we would have to land and wait it out on the ground for the line to pass over. I have XM weather, on board radar (Garmin GWX 70) and a storm scope. I looked long and hard for a soft place to open up and it didn't happen. So we landed a Cross City, FL KCTY for an hour or hour and half or so. Looked reasonable at that point so we took off and got out the back side with rain but no turbulence and made it to Destin. Clients safely and happily at home I now had to get back to Atlanta with some new lines developing up there. Made it to the area in record time (287kts ground speed straight and level at 15,000') on the front side of the storms. It was dark by the time I got there, but I was in visual conditions. I accepted a visual approach, but as I lined up on final it started to rain. As I got to around 200' it started to rain so hard I couldn't clearly see. I went missed. Controller said it looked to him that things were moving past, so he set me up to do the RNAV in. Not as low as the first time, but because of hard rain I had to go missed again. This time the controller asked how much fuel I had left. (2 hours). Again he said it looked like things were moving out, but I was tired and stressed and wanted nothing more to do with that airport. Got vectored to an airport on the back side of the storm where conditions were visual. The final approach was the most turbulent I've ever flown. I called Atlanta approach once on the ground to cancel. The controller that worked me answered and we had a good chat. He did a super job as most of them always do. My wife Sue came and picked me up and finally in bed at 11:30. 8 flying hours and up 17 hours I was and still am exhausted. Ted chose wisely. The weather in the SE sucked royally yesterday. For you masochistic types it's on Flight Aware N245DC.
     
  26. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    24,223
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    #bandozer
    Thanks for the PIREP, Lance. You basically confirmed what I expected would likely happen. Glad you made it safely.
     
  27. 3393RP

    3393RP Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,171
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    3393RP
    This is a terrible tragedy. The parents were in the front seats and escaped unharmed. Their lives have been irretrievably broken.

    The burdens placed on some people are almost unfathomable. My prayers go out to them.

    :(
     
    MIFlyer and Zeldman like this.
  28. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    10,572
    Location:
    NM or the emergency room...
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Billy
    Terrible tragedy indeed. I cannot fathom what the parents are going through right now.

    I would not wish something like this on my worst enemy.