Learning Experiences

April 2002 Issue

Beat the Clock

“I knew the weather was marginal, but everyone else was going, so I felt compelled to go as well”

It was a fairly nice November morning, and I had booked a Cessna 172 from John Wayne Airport to Catalina for a day trip to celebrate with my wife on our anniversary.

The weather was VFR and was forecasted to remain that way until 1900 local. As we approached Catalina, I could see the low clouds just west of the island with their eastwardly movement hampered by a weak high that sat over the area.

The tour bus took us from the airport to Avalon and would not return until 1600 local. The entire time in Avalon, I was checking the weather on my cell phone, worried that the weather would not hold. The bus ride back was a miserable 30 minutes as I watched the sky and monitored ASOS.

Whe...

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