FlightSeeing.US Logo

Choose from our bundled Airport Briefing packages!
Information Packages and Airstrip Videos

See Florida from a bird's eye view!
  Florida Flying Videos

Choose from our pre-planned packages!
 Flight Planning Assistance

Try out our Virtual FBO!

Royalty-Free Stock Video at Pond5


Welcome to Wingnut's Wild Blue Yonder!

Flying Homepage



Flying: Foggy Morning at the Field

When you fly in Florida, you often encounter fog early in the morning. Hell, it doesn't matter if it's mid winter or mid summer, I've just accepted it as a fact of life and do my best to work around it. When it's unavoidable, there's still some pretty good hangar-flying going on at the field.

I fly R/C aircraft as well, and have noticed this same phenomenon on foggy mornings at that field, too.

I'm talking about the age old tradition of "waiting for the fog to lift". It's a special time when pilots stand around and drink coffee, eat donuts and tell lies. It's usually pretty quiet and very still, and voices are kept subdued, so that their camber resonates against the fog.

I like to go flying early, so I'm out there at or shortly after the crack of dawn. Other pilots come in gradually and wait in the FBO, or just out front where they can smoke and tell raunchier jokes.

Weather is checked and rechecked. 12/12, steady. Damn. Well, good company here anyway. You never know where the conversation is going to go, either.

Here's an example: Last weekend, I went to rent a plane at a new field. Actually, it's an old field, it's just new to me. I knew it was going to be too foggy the night before, but ever the optimist, I pressed on. I had just taken a check ride the weekend before, so I wanted to get some practice on approaches and ground procedures for this particular airport. It's a little unique, with no taxi-ways, and is very tight at only 60 feet wide.

Anyway, back to the story. I rolled out of bed and peeked out the window. Solid white. I could just barely make out the street light on the culdesac behind us, which I can see out our back door. Not good. I took a shower and got dressed anyway, then checked again. Still not good, but I could clearly see the light now. Sweet. I thought I'd just get my bag together and load my flying junk into the Xterra. Well, by now I was wide awake anyway, so I figured I'd drive up there and see how it looked from Pasco County. I mean, what if I just happened to be sitting in the only patch of fog out there? I also had another mission in mind.

My wife's cousin Doug had called the night before, and I was going to take him with me today. Since I usually rent at Peter O' on Saturdays, I always take Krispy Kreme donuts for the staff there. Since I'd be flying in to pick Doug up anyway, I stopped and got some special gourmet donuts from a different place on the way to the other airport. I planned to deliver them "express air" to the gang at Peter O'.

I jumped on the interstate and headed north. Before I'd gotten out of the County, the Highway Patrol had closed the interstate and was detouring traffic because of the fog. Uh-oh. I'd been to this airport once before, and only knew how to find it from the interstate. I had to get on 301 and try to figure something out.

That's when it hit me. "I have a GPS!". I stopped and got it out of my bag. I used it like I was flying to the airport, and drove on some pretty interesting roads, and got to the field only about 20 minutes late. Didn't matter a bit. It was still white-out thick out there.

I called Doug and told him I couldn't take off yet. He said he'd hang out for a while and wait to see if it cleared any. At this new place, there's a wood deck around the FBO with a couple of rockers and a picnic table or two and a soda machine. The office has a coffee pot and a box of their own donuts, and there are several other people milling around quietly. There were several people there who were supposed to go on intro flights, and a couple pairs of pilots, presumably instructor/student combos for IFR. There were also a couple of other hammer-head rental pilots like me, waiting patiently, watching the fog.

After a while, conversation starts to take place.

I started talking to this guy who was going to use the same plane I was taking when I got back. What was he doing here already? Turns out he was there to see his instructor and go over some stuff. He mentioned that he had just purchased a new 182 and that it was going to be delivered in a few months, and he was eager to get his ticket. A new 182! Glass panel!!

I had to ask what he did for a living, he seemed so down to Earth. He turned out to own a company that locates, disarms and disposes of land mines and other ordnance. He has 125 guys in Iraq right now. It was a fascinating conversation, and very informative. We haven't been getting the full story there, you know.

Anyway, after a while, I ended up in a conversation with another guy, after watching one of the IFR teams disappear into the fog about half way down the runway, and about 50 feet into the air. He was telling me about being stuck between cloud layers on a trip to North Carolina a few years ago. Sounded pretty hairy. Turned out that he flies a home built. It's a Europa, and was in the main hangar. He offered to show it off, and I checked it out. What a cool little plane. Almost 200 mph at 4.5 gph!

Now it was about 10:00 am, and I thought that I could just make out the warehouse at the other end of the airfield. Still not good. Well, I gave it the old school try, nothing more that I could do. I called Doug and told him we'd do it another time, said goodbye to the new gang at Tampa North, and headed for home.

Had to take the special donuts home with me, too. If I don't see another donut for a couple years, that'll be OK with me.

At least I got my flying fix for the week, even though I never left the ground.

Flying is so much more than getting in a plane and taking off. We don't get near enough time to congregate with one another, and nobody else feels the same passion for what we do as we ourselves do. Savor these opportunities when they arise. I am always reminded of an old saying in situations like these: "If you can't get out of it, you better get into it". Don't be that desperate, clingy guy that people naturally want to avoid, but don't avoid conversations just because you don't know the other person either.

Keep in mind that these people share at least one major interest with you. It'll make those foggy mornings a lot more bearable.

Fair winds and blue skies, Wingnut.


Home | Info Packages | Flying Videos | Virtual FBO | Flying | About Us | Contact Us


A Hard Man To Find
Serving the Entire Planet


All content, logos, pictures, and videos are the property of AHMTF
Copyright ©  2009 -
If you have any comments or questions contact webmaster