Saturday, February 24, 2018

No-Go Oak Island

Mother Nature 1, 08Romeo and company 0

Here I sit watching the weather just settle in and limit the ceiling and visibility. The forecast called for overcast 100 feet and visibility .5 mile from 4am to 4pm today.  When I got up I had hoped that the weather Gods intervened and I would have a chance to get out IFR, it didn't happen. The ceilings did get better, tongue in cheek, they are now 300' overcast and visibility .2 miles but lasting through 8pm.
I cancelled my flight for the Beech Aero Club fly-in but two of the other five planes were still going to try from their respective locations, Jeff in Greer, SC and Don in Aiken SC.  Don scrubbed at 9:20 but Jeff had already launched at 9:04. I know he didn't want to be the only plane flying in so I texted him and tried calling. No luck, he was flying along at 7000' and 158 knots.
I sat and thought for a bit, how the heck can I get word to him. I got an idea, I'll look up the local airports he is flying over to pinpoint what approach control he is talking to and call them. Jeff was just passing over Woodward, KCDN.
What's the fastest way to get their number?  I called the airport manager and asked if he had a number for Shaw approach, he did, and I gave him my bizarre reason for needing it. The manager asked if I was ready to copy, and I was.  I thanked him and immediately dialed up Shaw approach. The person I spoke to was very nice, I explained my strange request to contact an aircraft I thought was in their airspace and gave him the reason. I honestly told him the fly-in group cancelled and I was trying to save him an additional hour and twenty minutes of flight time. He said no problem and I gave him the name and tail number.

So that's my 'you just can't make this stuff up' moment for today. I didn't get to fly but I did talk to approach. I continued to track Jeff and he obviously decided to continue on for Oak Island, KSUT. I cant wait to get the call when he lands.


Chris said...

I’ll be curious to hear if they actually relayed your message to him! Sorry your trip was a bust, but it does come with the territory.

Gary said...

Chris, Jeff did text me once he landed and he confirmed Shaw approach did relay my message to him. He and his wife decided to continue on to Oak Island anyway and they enjoyed a nice lunch at Flying Fish, as recommended by the airport manager.

The Beech Aero Club is going to reschedule and try and set up an overnight. A few of the pilots/couples said it would be a fun get-away if we stayed. Mary and I are always up for an overnight somewhere.

Chris said...

Excellent! Now you have something to look forward to!