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Scud Running - A Really Bad Idea!

by John M. White |

You know it - we have all done it. It's legal, we are only going a short distance, we know the terrain, where all the towers are, and we are really good pilots, right? Ah, if only we knew BEFORE we took off! It seems that most pilots like golf, so what to do on a great weekend? Find a golf course with a private airstrip, right? After all, they are catering to golfing pilots, right? This pilot decided to go golfing and did ALMOST everything right: fewer clubs, checked the weather and 10+ visibility at the destination, some 2,500 foot ceilings enroute, no brainer, right? Even thought this pilot had an instrument rating he left his charts and approach plates at home. Quick launch with an aircraft with nav radios but an inop gps and off they go to make their tee time at the golf course. Ceilings began to drop, but press on - tee time is awaiting. Using good thinking a one eighty and off to an alternate airport was in order. 1 and 1/2 hours later it was off again, and this time they got within 14 miles of the destination, but marginal vfr was fast evaporating. One more one eighty, off to a major airport with car rentals, and the fourth tee time worked out for a great game of golf. An uneventful flight home and then some time for reflection. There are many stories of flights into deteriorating conditions by pilots who have been bitten by that bug called "get home itis", and many a fine pilot has met his maker because he wouldn't turn around, land and wait for better weather. As a result many golf games go unplayed, kids grow up without their pilot parent, and good airplanes wind up as a heap of metal. Aircraft Engine Debris The next time you are tempted to scud run because you "have to get there" think again. Life is short; don't make it shorter! Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 For all professional pilots there exists a kind of guild, without charter and without by-laws. it demands no requirements for inclusion save an understanding of the wind, the compass, the rudder, and fair fellowship. — Beryl Markham, 'West With the Night,' 1942.

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