Sunday, August 8, 2010


I've been terribly remiss in logging my flights. It's not that I'm not flying—I fly almost every day—but I've had trouble summoning the energy to actually log each and every flight. Many flights are routine, so there isn't a lot to say. I have the distinct feeling that if I actually piloted for real, I'd find putting things in my logbook to be terribly tedious as well.

Anyway, on an otherwise routine flight to Sky Harbor out of McCarran, in one of my Citations (N7446E), I actually ran across a thunderstorm, which is rare in the generally clear weather of the Great American Southwest. I had already seen reports of thunderstorm activity moving north during my preflight preparation, and on the ramp at McCarran (Signature, my favorite semi-virtual FBO), I had noticed storm clouds and a lot of lightning to the north, albeit well out of my intended path. But on the way to Phoenix, I came across some isolated thunderstorm activity, right down to the anvil-shaped cloud up ahead.

I started to feel some substantial turbulence while still far away from the storm. I negotiated some deviations from my route with ATC and detoured to the east for a while, watching the storm out the windows. Normally, the Citation X would have weather radar, but Eaglesoft's model doesn't simulate this (Wilco's does, but Wilco's model is undesirable in other ways). Not a bit deal, though, since I could see the clouds right outside.

After about ten minutes of flying well to the east of the bad weather, I eased my way back towards my filed route. Every time I felt the turbulence pick up, I backed off. Eventually I got around the storm.

Other than that, the flight was routine. No hail or icing or anything, as I gave the thunderstorm a wide berth. It did make the flight interesting.