Almost Flew Today…

I suspected that the weather wasn’t going to be good for flying today (05/26/2012), but according to the aviation weather website it was going to be at least okay during the time period I was scheduled to fly between 9.00am -11.00am. I looked out the window and the weather seemed okay. It was dry, calm, the temperature was 67 F and the sun was trying to peek through some scattered dark clouds. I didn’t receive a call from Jeremy for a cancellation so I prepared to go to Thunderbird. I left home at 8.26 am and could see that more clouds had gathered, but it was going to rain later, not during my flying time. So I continued and reached school at 8.45 am and found Kevin, Willey, Aaron and Tim all chatting. I greeted them all and as I approached the front desk to check-in, Kevin said it seems the clouds are coming in fast, and Aaron looked out the window and agreed. But Tim said, “It’s been like that for the past hour or so and so it might be okay”. “Well shall I wait till Jeremy arrives and see what he says?” I asked Kevin. “No, just check-in and pre-flight the plane, then you’ll be ready if the weather turns out to be okay”.

So I filled out the paper work and went to pre-flight the plane. Upon my return I saw Kevin just ending a conversation on the phone. “Cancellation?” I asked. “Oh no that was something else” said Kevin. Jeremy hadn’t arrived yet so I chatted with everyone present. “How’s school Tim?” “Oh I finished. I have my finals on June 15th” said Tim and continued “Yes, I have 280 questions, multiple choice on the computer and I have 5 hours to do it”. “WOW, no break?” I asked. “Well some places allow a break, and some won’t”. Tim was studying for his Law Enforcement degree to become a policeman. Just then Jeremy arrived and we all greeted him. “Are you ready Tiger?” he asked. “Yes I am”. “Have you pre-flighted the plane?” “Yes I have”. “Okay let me go and check the weather” said Jeremy. “Yes I assumed that the weather probably might not be good, but Kevin said to pre-flight and if the weather turns out to be okay I would be able to fly”. Jeremy logged into the aviation weather website and it seemed fine. He said after 11.00 am we’re supposed to get some storms.

So we went out and boarded the plane and we were going to do some pattern work. As I went through the checklist I said to Jeremy that I didn’t fly this last weekend, nor the Wednesday before that. The last time I flew was the Wednesday before that last Wednesday on May 16th. “Oh you didn’t fly with Tim on Sunday?” asked Jeremy. “No the weather was bad then too” I said smilingly. We began taxiing to runway 14L as ordered by Ground, but before we even reached the tower, tower contacted us and asked if we were aware of the SIGMET’s. SIGMET stands for Significant Meteorological Information and this is a weather advisory containing meteorological information concerning the safety of all aircraft. Jeremy replied to Tower, ‘Well we’re staying in the pattern and not leaving the airport”. Tower replied, “There’s a line of storms out in Buffalo”. Jeremy said that was too close for comfort and requested a 180 turn back to Thunderbird. Tower gave us the permission to do the 180 to taxi back to Thunderbird. Once we reached Thunderbird Jeremy said, “Sorry about the weather, did you want to do some ground school?” Ground school is not the problem, the practical flying is I said to myself and declined Jeremy’s offer and said that I would like to go home. “Okay so you want to come back tomorrow and see if we can fly then?” asked Jeremy. “Yes” I replied. Before I left though, I asked Jeremy if he had spoken to Alex. “He said you did well” said Jeremy. I knew that my performance was great when I flew with Alex last, but I wanted to know what Alex thought. With that knowledge I thanked Jeremy and said that I would see him tomorrow, hopefully under better weather conditions.

As I drove home it became significantly cloudy and quite dark as if it were around 5 pm during Winter. By the time I reached home at 9.30 am it began raining hard with thunder claps and lightening. The time is 10.30 am as I write this and the weather continues to be stormy.

Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS)Output produced by TAFs form (1546 UTC 26 May 2012)
found at

METAR text:

KMIC 261527Z 30009KT 2SM +TSRA BR SCT024 SCT029 OVC035 15/14 A3020 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT ALQDS PRESRR P0024 $

Conditions at:

KMIC (MNPLS/CRYSTAL , MN, US) observed 1527 UTC 26 May 2012


15.0°C (59°F)


14.0°C (57°F) [RH = 94%]

Pressure (altimeter):

30.20 inches Hg (1022.8 mb)


from the WNW (300 degrees) at 10 MPH (9 knots; 4.7 m/s)


2.00 miles (3.22 km)


3500 feet AGL


scattered clouds at 2400 feet AGL
scattered clouds at 2900 feet AGL
overcast cloud deck at 3500 feet AGL


+TSRA BR (heavy rain associated with thunderstorm(s), mist)

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