Going With The Flow

‘If we don’t change direction soon, we’ll end up where we’re going.’ – Professor Irwin Corey

For three weeks I’ve been looking forward to today. On this day 108 years ago the Wright brothers started a new era in travel by accomplishing the first powered flight. Today we had all four planes, plus two planes of friends, ready to fly up to for breakfast. I had been talking with the manager there and was lined up to do an interview with him. I’ve put together a shot list for all the b-roll I was going to take. I had emailed the AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer for that airport and he was going to stop by and say hi. Even the weather seemed uncharacteristically cooperative given that we’re getting into early winter.

Yesterday I got all my toys charged up. For this trip that meant two HD video cameras (one of which could be strapped to the outside of the plane), still camera, backup GPS, iPad and aviation headsets. I also had all the gear ready to go, tripods, flight bag and camera bags. Then things started to break down.

I looked at the weather last night and while our forecast for the past few days has wavered between 0% and 20% chance of snow, it had been updated to say 60%. As I’m contemplating that I get a call from one of the other guys in the club. He’s managed to get himself stuck in Ohio. While flying back from Boston the same weather that looked good, then turned bad, stopped him from making progress. So, it was looking questionable as to whether I would even have a plane to fly.

Still, 60% chance of snow means 40% chance of no snow!

I get up this morning and look out the window and find an inch and a half of snow in the back yard. That’s not good. I wander down to the basement and check the aviation forecast. That’s gotten worse also. Now it looks like the good weather won’t be getting here until mid-afternoon. As a last ditch attempt to salvage the trip I call the resort, but they report snow also. That’s the final nail in the coffin. The destination runway doesn’t have snow removal equipment, so snow up there means the trip is definitely scrubbed.

Plan B, is to go to Indianapolis. I call the guy who has the plane in Ohio for status update, and learn that he is still stuck there without much hope of getting back until mid-to-late afternoon. There is a big band of snow, the stuff that went through Chicago last night, still working its way through the Midwest and now is sitting in between Ohio and Chicago. I look into changing planes, but the only other plane suitable for the mission isn’t available until almost 4 o’clock. So, I guess that’s the end of that plan.

Beth and I talk, and decide to head back to downtown Chicago. We had fun down there a couple weeks ago and we can get a room for free at the Hampton thanks to all the points that I’ve accumulated over the years staying there. Also, the plan all along has been to go downtown tomorrow night and visit with some friends for dinner and drinks. Heading down a day early and taking advantage of the free room seems like a no-brainer.

All in all, I don’t think that seems like such a bad backup plan.

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