making “preflight” plans because I was
not yet to the line of weather, or was I
making “in-flight” weather plans? Those
satellites above were making FAR 91. 103
I have spent a lot of time flying over the
Great Plains in thunderstorm season, and
just like those guys in the DC-3s 70 years
ago, I have learned that lower is better over
this flat land. Heck, maybe even the guys
struggling across the Plains in tri-motors
learned the same thing. When thunderstorms are over the Plains, the visibility
outside of the rain shafts is usually very
good so you can dodge the cells visually
rather than getting your brains kicked in
flying along in the bottoms of the clouds
associated with the storms.
As I approached the now-broken area
of the line I was still in the clear.
Minneapolis granted my request for
4,000 feet, and that got me below the
bases for a time. As I flew into Sioux City
terminal airspace the approach
controllers there could clear me down to
3,000 feet, and I was again just below the
bases and cleared to deviate around the
rain shafts. By the time I got to Norfolk a
thunderstorm had moved on a few miles
to the north, and I landed in a gusty north
wind behind the cell.
J. Mac McClellan, EAA 747337, has been a pilot for more
than 40 years, holds an ATP certificate, and owns a Beech-craft Baron.