Thursday, June 23, 2011

After flying two legs, waiting at El Dorado airport for three hours, and taking much needed three hour nap Nicole and I are planning out final route to Mobile, Alabama!!!

This morning we woke up at 4:30 in order to plan our routes that we excepted to fly today. I flew the first route from Borger, Texas to Oklahoma University's airport, in Norman, Oklahoma. We completed our flight with a tailwind and are having an amazing time.

We arrived at Norman around 9:00 this morning. Since it Is a controlled airport and home to Oklahoma University it was hectic getting in and out. Everyone was waiting there because of the current IFR conditions that were in El Dorado, our next stop. But we checked with a briefer and were one of the first teams to head out of OK. But little did we know we would have a little delay. Only in Norman will you wait 40 minutes on a taxiway to takeoff. Good thing we accounted for extra fuel that flight!

Nicole flew the next leg to El Dorado, Arkansas. The flight there was nice and smooth. We were by ourselves for the most part on this leg. Halfway along our route we noticed something shiny ahead of us and not moving. There was a haze layer so we assumed it had to be a plane because otherwise we didn't think it would shine. It appeared to not be moving, which normally indicates traffic with which you are on a collision course with. We talked on the air races air to air frequency and there were no souls around us. We were perplexed. Turns out as we flew further it turned out to be a building of some sort. We felt kinda silly until we heard Embry Riddle Prescott make the same assumption over the radio.

When we arrived in El Dorado we cleaned the bugs off the plane and headed inside to check the weather. There were thunderstorms hanging out right over our destination. After being on the phone with two different flight briefers and after calling Robin we decided to stay in El Dorado. The forecast showed thunderstorms in the vicinity and we did not want to risk our safety because the storms were producing two inch hail and 60 mph winds. Thunderstorms generally indicate there will be low ceilings and poor visibility. Because we are flying VFR it is important to follow visual flight rules which means 1000 ft ceilings and 3 miles visibility is mandatory. Flying into the clouds is grounds for disqualification. Several teams went ahead and continued to Mobile but we believe we made the right decision by staying in El Dorado.

We have one more day to complete the race. Pray for us that we will have tailwinds and that the rain and thunderstorms will move out of the area.

Go Classic 30!

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