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Should you go flying into fog?

[30 July 2010] [1,913 views] [No Comment]

This morning I looked out my window to see nothing but a grey blanket of fog covering the ground.  It reminded me of a cold hard lesson I’d been taught by my flying instructor back when I was training for my Private Pilots Licence.

After running through the lesson brief my instructor looked out the window and asked me if I was still keen to go flying even know it was foggy.  My limited experience at the time (pre solo) and over keenness to reach for the sky clouded my judgement.  With the plane ready to go my instructor asked again most probably hoping I’d make the right decision and call the flight off.

We taxied out to the runway that I though was best to use, listened out for other traffic and finished doing a run up.  The fog seemed like it was getting thicker but still I thought it was all right to fly.

As we lined up I realised visibility was way below VFR minimum but I still was going to roll down the runway.  My instructor with his many hours of experience pulled the plug of the flight and explained why as we taxied back.

Fog is usually caused by cold air from above mixing with warmer air closer to the ground.  As the sun comes up in the morning the fog will appear to become thicker and if it’s a cold day it could linger around all day.

It’s the lingering fog that would make it almost impossible to land again and require a diversion to another aerodrome.

This simple but effective lesson stays with me every time I fly… So if you’re ever put in the same situation, ask yourself, “Should I be flying into fog?”

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