Decision Was Easy: No Fly

In the end my decision was made easy by the fact that the plane was grounded due to a large oil leak and no other plane was available. It also would have been easy on the day, too: driving last night I was caught in a huge downpour which I clearly would not have flown through and on the other side the clouds were low enough that there was no way I could have flown VFR over the mountains.

Deciding To Fly or Not to Fly

Friday lunchtime my wife needs to be here in San Diego to take me to a minor surgical procedure and then back home to Brawley. Rather than have two cars in town this seems like a perfect reason to use the privilege of being a pilot: I’ll go out Thursday night and pick her up.

I read about people flying to Oshkosh this week, or from here to Texas and the idea of trying to predict the weather on such a long trip boggles my mind. So here I am working out possibilities for the flight from MYF to BWC and I am already struggling.

  • The mid-afternoon and desert cumulus are here, last two days there has been towering cumulus at 6000 feet a couple of miles north of the route I would take. I get nervous around cumulus.
  • I can probably avoid them by leaving at 7 or 8pm but that means we wouldn’t get back to San Diego until 10pm or so, and that’s discounting dinner.
  • The forecast for the next two days is for “isolated thunderstorms” in the desert in the afternoons. 99 times out of 100 they are edging their bets and there will be none but the bulk of the route has no reporting stations
  • Finally, the runway lights are NOTAM’d out of service at BWC until further notice. I’ve landed no lights at MYF before and it was ok, never taken off with no lights. It’s probably no big deal but if the desert winds are up that all adds to the mix, and potential for trouble.

So it looks like I’ve already decided it’s a no-go though that won’t be decided until Thursday for sure; we’ll work out an alternate plan tomorrow. I tend to be over-cautious and perhaps all of you reading are shaking your heads wondering what is stopping me. A few long distance cross-countries will help me out but until then I will stay on the side of caution.

My New Headset

Thanks to everyone who gave their advice on my earlier post about what to buy. After much online research I went for the Halo from Quiet Technologies and they arrived yesterday. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.


My decision was based largely on price and comfort, the idea of in-ear phones was appealing but I had read some reports that microphone placement could be tough so the small headband (that can go around the neck) that comes with the Halo seemed like a good compromise.

I have my club-mandated annual flight review on Monday and will hopefully get to try them out then. In the meantime I have to experiment with how best to wear them.

ANR Headsets Worth It?

Got my annual bonus last month, some of it will cover my COM rating (slated to start mid-September when my CFI has space in his schedule) but I was thinking of getting an active noise reducing headset. But I wonder whether it’s worth the extra $ ? I’m not buying the Bose (too expensive and it’s almost a religion for me never to buy anything they make) but is there a unit people think is worth it? Part of me worries that it will be too quiet, there is something reassuring about hearing the engine. But it would be nice to buy myself a present. What do you think? And any recommendations?