To Lubbock under MVFR

Last weekend we flew to Lubbock to visit my mom. The original date to visit during Memorial Day weekend was thwarted by storms & rain in Dallas and in Lubbock. We rescheduled for mid July under the assumption, "Surely we'll have clear skies and 100 degree weather."

Have you met my friend Murphy? She's not much of a friend really.

Turns out the weather over Dallas on the Friday we took off was cloudy and unseasonably cool. Through the day, my husband and I watched radar and sky condition charts. He called off the flight preferring to drive or depart the next day. But I had a sense that we could safely make the flight with an amended route that showed higher ceilings than our normal route. So we switched pilot-in-command (PIC) and I assumed responsibility for a safe flight.

We departed flying 2000 ft above ground level (AGL) which was 500 ft below the clouds. The clouds lifted a little around Bridgeport, then lifted more around Abilene. After KABI, the cloud shelf ended and we were finally able to climb to 4500 and 5500. We stayed about 2000 ft AGL the whole trip.

Lubbock Executive was hard to find with the sun setting between us and the airport but we did find it almost below us eventually. I circled around the airport to descend and get into position to land.

But my pattern was all off and the landing didn't look like it would be good. I did a go-around and the second attempt was better resulting in a smooth landing.

The weekend with my mom was great!

Rusty was PIC on the flight home. The lucky guy got his clear skies most of the way and we enjoyed outside air temperature of 70F at 7500. Near Dallas, clouds were bunching up to a broken ceiling. We had to descend early to get below the clouds and then the Bravo airspace shelf. He did a very fine landing at ADS.

I'll upload pictures later. No video this time though. (The camera wasn't charged.)

What does it say about me that I made the call to fly under MVFR? I told my mom it was a calculated risk and my calculations were correct. What I didn't tell her was that I was prepared to deviate to the nearest airport at any moment if the flight wasn't safe. Being brave is good, being smart about risk is better.



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