Sunday, June 23, 2013

Weather Delay: Postponing My First Solo Cross Country Flight

Waking up this morning, I wasn't quite sure what the day would be like. Originally, I had my first solo cross country flight to Farmville KFVX scheduled from 10am-1pm earlier today. After checking the weather before heading towards the airport, my instructor and I decided we'd better postpone it until late in the day. Luckily, the plane was available after 3pm, so we went ahead and scheduled from 4pm-7pm as a general time frame.

Bad weather from another day at Hanover KOFP

I still wasn't so sure if the flight would work out, the weather was marginal, or right on the edge. When we had to make the decision around 3:30 pm as to if I would head out to the airport, but things didn't look so good. At the time, the visibility and winds were fine, but there was a broken layer of clouds at both 3,500ft and 4,100ft. In addition, there was a dissipating storm moving towards Richmond from Charlottesville (we weren't 100% sure when/where it would completely dissipate). Because of this, we ended up making the decision to cancel the flight today. 

Here is a photo of the forecast from today: as you can see, the weather was improving, but was on the edge of being un-flyable for me: 

So sadly I didn't end up getting to fly today for my first solo cross country. The weather ended up being better than we expected and things improved by 5pm. With few clouds at 4,500ft and light winds, if we had made the decision later, it probably would have been a "go-ahead." Oh well, not much we can do about that now. 

Here is what the weather ended up being like

Aviation and flying, especially as a new pilot, requires a lot of judgment and decision making. Although I'm disappointed I couldn't fly today, I know it was the right decision to back off and wait for a better day. It's all about safety and measured risks. The risk today just wasn't worth taking. 


"Better to be on the ground wishing you were in the sky, than in the sky wishing you were on the ground."


I'm crossing my fingers that things will work out for later this week. Tomorrow morning, I'm heading to the airport to get my endorsement for this flight. As of now, I'm scheduled for either 9am-12am Wednesday or 8am-11am Friday. Maybe one of those days will work out, let's hope so!

Thanks for reading,
Swayne Martin


  1. Always better to err on the side of safety, especially when it comes to weather because no one can accurately guess what will happen. I hope it works out for you soon.

    1. Thanks so much Dave! Hoping for this morning :)

      -Swayne Martin


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Many Thanks, Happy Flying,
Swayne Martin