Our weather pattern has been perfect for flying lately - especially in the early morning or later afternoon hours. There are so many thermals around 2pm caused by differential heating of the Earth any trip will prove to shake you up quite a bit.
Yesterday afternoon the weather was incredibly calma and stable I had to squeeze in an airplane flight. Since I'm working on my instrument rating - I need to log as much cross country (over 50 nautical mile trip) as possible. We departed the Pell City airport in the Piper Archer around 6:30pm and made it to Huntsville International Airport by 7pm. I was impressed with the 134kt ground speed from the slight southerly wind. My wife captured a wonderful shot of the Tennessee River after we departed Runway 18L at Huntsville.
The southerly wind slowed us up just a tad on the trip back, but still it was a quick ride back to the Pell City Airport. Our route took us over Cullman and Oneonta. One of the most gorgeous views is Lake Logan Martin when you setup for the approach into Pell City.
If you notice in the picture below - you will see the iPad mounted in the cockpit. We're on final approach onto Runway 21 at St. Clair County Airport. The iPad is one of most useful devices in the cockpit. It replaces all of my old sectional charts and combines that with weather data. I can look at the weather enroute and for my destination.
As you well know by now, my passion when not at work here at Fox 6 is aviation. Dr. Tim Coleman loves boating. Weather is critical to both activities. Since I have been flying, I can tell you it has increased my weather awareness even as a meteorologist. It's one thing to talk about and forecast the weather, but to actually experience the vertical and horizontal movements of the air molecules is a whole different world. In aviation - even a small thunderstorm can be life threatening.
Fox 6 Chief Meteorologist