Monday, 15 August 2011

The weather

The weather here in Florida is extremely predicable during the summer. The weather is often cool(ish) in the morning and then dark, wet and extremely humid later in the day. Since our arrival we have experienced some of the bad weather but yesterday was probably the worst we have experienced so far.

I was 'reliably' informed yesterday morning that the weather would rapidly deteriorate in the afternoon and that we would be getting quite an extreme thunderstorm overhead. Right on queue it arrived around 2pm.

The thunder and lightning was persistent for some time and one strike momentarily cut the power to the entire building. The flooding water was also a threat as it got close to flooding into the apartments but luckily it subsided before reaching the doors.

Although compared to a hurricane it was very little it was still pretty exciting and quite sadistically I hope I can experience it again before leaving.

Believe it or not, an unedited still from a video clip...

With regards to flying over the past six days I've managed to get in a few hours but not as many as I would have hoped although early this morning I managed to get my final solo in before the progress test.

2.4 hour flight down to an un-towered airport called North Palm Beach County Airport (F45). The approach to the airfield can be quite tricky as to approach the airport you either have to go through airspace of a towered airport nearby or go around it. Luckily the route I planned meant I would miss the airspace by less than one nautical mile.

Anyway, a quick touch and go in F45 and then I headed back north to the old stomping ground of Valkaria just south of Melbourne to complete a few more touch and go's. The computers in the aircraft were telling me the winds were hitting directly against the nose when on final however as I got within one hundred feet of the ground it was clear that there was significant wind sheer which indeed caused a few sticky landings however all safe and then it was back to Melbourne.

Inbound for Melbourne I thought I had quite a bit of time before the aircraft was due back on stand so I thought I would enter the pattern for a couple of touch and go's before a full stop to return home.

After making contact with the tower it was clear he was pretty busy at this time of day (09.40am local) and so after a number of approach patterns and a runway change I wasn't going to have much time to get the plane back!

A quick word with ATC and I was put on short final for Runway 27L. Down, off and back on the ramp for 09.55am local. Paperwork complete, aircraft secure and a brisk walk back to the terminal and I was inside just in time. Getting quite good at this time thing now!


  1. Hello again and thanks for another great post. The Floria weather IS great for flight training, mostly because it IS predictable - Ha ha. This time of year, those thunder/rain heads are common, but short lived. While one does not want to fly in them, if you manage to get up and with a decent flight plan, you or ATC can get around them. I'm thinking take a little extra gas and have FIVE Put Down NOW alternates in your pocket. Fun video and the still of the lightening was great. As you have already observed, those seriously bad moments do not last long. Great post! Your cheering section is doing a jig. The beach shot was good too, but I just KNOW that both of you were holding books related to your studies... -Craig (Cedarglen)

  2. Love the post - I must admit, when sat at work in a quiet moment I do enjoy checking through the 4 or 5 blogs I follow and am always pleased to find a new post and/or comment as a lot of interesting people follow your words. I do enjoy your mix of technical info and stories of the day to day life.

    Keep it up (and the hard work)

    Dave from the UK