The weather was fickle today. I flew more than 7 hours and saw everything from blazing sunshine, to wind, snow, slush, sleet, hail, rain, and fog. All of the above photos were taken in the past 8 hours. One moment I would be flying in clear air and in a matter of minutes the visibility would grow hazy as the moisture in the air around me condensed into visible clouds. It’s an eerie feeling to know that the weather is not an isolated unit moving around, but rather it is building in intensity, and size through invisible means in the air supporting you. I never know if it is going to totally shut down, and leave me stranded at some abandoned cabin or if it is merely a passing cell. Little can be left to chance and I spend the majority of my efforts avoiding the bad areas and not flying through them.
Spring and Fall are the most unpredictable seasons as the weather patterns battle for control. Even though the weather was not exceptionally bad today, it was totally unstable and moving fast. The picture of the icing on my wing was taken after flying through a small snow squall that lasted less than one minute. You can see the dangers involved with this sort of thing as any amount of icing disrupts air flow over the wing. It was bothersome that I had flown through multiple squalls a short time before that built no ice. The temperature, wind, visibility, and precipitation were changing very fast, and I decided to call it a day and head home to see my girls, and eat some dinner. I did manage to get 3 kite skiers and 2 gold miners moved before the weather turned on me, so it was still a good days work.
Fr. Scott says
Nice blog and pics. I have been following you on Alaska Dispatch. Fly Safe out there! Fr. Scott Garrett, Holy Rosary Parish
Dan Bailey Photography says
Another great post- always a pleasure to see your flying photos, Matt!