Prologue, 16 October:
I have reservations for both Saturday and Sunday for lessons 4 and 5 respectively, however, it looks as though the weather is likely going to prevent me from flying. I will have to be satisfied with “flying” Microsoft Flight Simulator X. It’s pretty cool now that there’s “real” controls attached to the computer. This means I don’t have to fly with a keyboard and mouse or joystick. And my base airport is in the database, so I can simulate take off and landing from the very airport from which I will be testing. And from initial toying with the software, it’s prett damned accurate.
So much so that our flight instructors recommend it. P.S. My headset arrived the other day. Woo Hoo!
It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday.
The regular dogs sleeping in.
There’s a phone call ringing next to me…
DAMMIT! Who the hell is calling me at this hour? I was supposed to be sleeping in today!
It IS Saturday, and the weather is crap. That’s why Tom, the owner of the fixed base operator at which I am taking flight training, is calling. My lesson for today is cancelled due to weather. Probably tomorrow too.
I was expecting his call. I have been practicing.
I checked out AviationWeather.gov last night and discovered that we were going to be socked in until at least the start of my lesson. The aviation specific forecast, called a SIGMET (Significant Meteorological Information) told me this. So I knew ahed of time to expect a call from the school telling me to stay home today. I told Tom that I was expecting his call because of the SIGMET, and he basically chided me for not calling him earlier, because they expect the students to be proactive about weather. Well, I WAS. I just didn’t call in because:
1.) At the beginning of class, Tom told all the students that they’d notify us of cancellations due to weather, and
2.) I was sound asleep and my lesson wasn’t until 1 pm.
Most importantly, though, I learned how to read and evaluate weather forecasts well enough in ground school to predict the cancellation. Granted, the weather is REALLY crappy, so it was a no brainer, but still I was tickled that I was able to read the weather products and glean the correct answer.
Score one for the student!
(Apologies to Billy Joel.)