Learning Experiences

August 1999 Issue

The Road to Ruin

‘If we had collided in mid-air, investigators would have been searching for more bodies’

It was that time of year when spring was trying to become summer and I had an opportunity to fly a volunteer blood run with my club’s Cessna 172. I set out for the 300-mile round trip with my friend, also a pilot. Both of us are 400-hour VFR pilots.

Conditions at the time of departure were 3,500 feet broken, which was forecast to hold throughout our trip.

Forty miles from our destination airport the holes in the broken layer had closed and the ceiling was beginning to lower. We were to enter a military control area in the next 20 miles and were just barely able to maintain the minimum altitude we needed to transit the area.

Fortunately, the military control tower accommodated us th...

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