DAY 3 - National Championships at Ohio State University
Saturday dawned dark, overcast and rainy. We filed our flight plans and the first airplane was airborne on an IFR clearance to KOSU airport at 0830. The 320 mile trip was estimated to take about 3 hours. The forecast was for storms in the afternoon so the best flying weather was early in the day. Most of the flight to OSU was in the clouds with some big storms near Cincinnati and just south of Columbus.
Some of our planes diverted around the storms but the ride was smooth and not as bad as we expected. Some were able to land without flying an instrument approach, others made the decision to follow the instrument arrival procedure.
By 1pm all planes were tied down. We signed up for practices on Sunday and Monday but we all agreed we were too tired to make practice landings today so we arranged for dinner and went to the hotels. Team Captain Aaron Varela, along with Clayton Hawley and Shon Northcutt arrived on the airlines tonight so our team is in place for practice tomorrow.
A word here about our pilots. Yes – our goal is to compete and score high in the competition, but the experience our pilots are getting flying in this spring midwest weather is undeniably valuable training. I can tell you as their coach and advisor, that I am extremely proud of the way they planned and flew each of their flights. You cannot imagine the difficulty of putting to practice – all those things learned about cross-country flying and instrument training - until you start dealing with them all at once in the real world of weather and air traffic control.
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You can follow SDCC aircraft flights across America by going to http://flightaware.com/live/
Type in one of the following airplane registration numbers (N5291E for example) to track individual airplanes:
N79MR – Coach/Advisor Breslin – Cessna TR-182
N6706Y – Coach Belden – Beech Duchess BE-76
N5291E – Cessna 172
N40963 – Piper PA-28-161 Warrior
N8353T – Piper PA-28-236 Dakota