23 February 2009

Go or no go

February 2008 I was looking forward to flying the beast down to Wollongong to attend the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society's (HARS) Open Day on Sunday 22nd February.

But as I left Bankstown Airport enroute to my first waypoint overhead Camden Airport, I had difficulty seeing clearly beyond about 3-4 nautical miles.

And as the beast continued chugging towards Camden, my GPS said the airport was supposed to be 3 then 2 nautical miles ahead. Except that I couldn't see it for the now thick haze from ground level up past my 2,500 ft cruise altitude!

At that point, I reviewed the situation. I could see the Southwestern Freeway on my left and I was overhead Narellan so I was on track. But my next way point, overhead Wedderburn Airstrip, was shrouded in ground fog or haze.

I was concerned that the visibility was worse over the escarpment surrounding Wollongong Airport. If the visibility around Wollongong was indeed poor, then it seemed to me that pressing on with the flight would develop into a classic weather trap.

Mindful of the fact that accidents are typically the culmination of a series of errors or problems, I decided to bug out while my escape window was still open. So I turned DZY to fly through my escape window back to Bankstown.

Discretion is indeed the better part of valour.

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