Saturday morning in Delaware was clear and cool, but there was a front due here on Sunday that would bring rain and thunderstorms. After packing the previous night, we launched in the morning and flew out to meet that front.

I had done all my pre-flight planning, including a detailed weight and balance. I actually used a bathroom scale to be more accurate than normal for this trip. I had done it right, but we were loaded to the ceilings, so pushing the throttles in provided a moment of suspense. Acceleration was normal – even with full fuel. We lifted off and achieved 1500 fpm climbs for a short time, so I could breath and enjoy.

Weather flying out to Champaign
Weather flying out to Champaign

Our early departure had us meet the weather just as it was building into ‘extreme precip’ (controllers words), and prior to developing into defined thunderstorms. Studying the XM Weather, you can see I waited to get closer entering Ohio, and then decided I could not safely get through it. Too many areas showing a move from widespread moderate rain, toward increasing intensity.

I diverted to the Kentucky border, actually heading to Falmouth, Kentucky (FLM) before turning direct destination. In the PA30 – it didn’t add but a few minutes and kept my wife out of the bumps and building storm excitement.

Significant IFR time on the way out. You can see some of it on the condensed video taken with NFlight + Contour.

Arriving Champaign, Jeff and Brian were there to greet us. Weather was cooler than we expected, as I recall, but clear air and scattered clouds as you can see.

Arriving in Champaign, Ill - KCMI
Arriving in Champaign, Ill – KCMI

We headed out to eat lunch, and then Jeff set us up for the night in their wonderful home. This was one more chance to brief our approach to getting into the busiest airport in the world the next day. Looking forward to it, we called it an early night.

By fdorrin

Recently rated Gulfstream 280 pilot, working on instructor qualifications. WestWind and Astra corporate jet flight instructor. Contract corporate pilot. Own and operate a PA30 Twin Comanche. CFII; MEI; ME-ATP; SES; Typed in DHC-8, B-25, IAI-1124, IAI1125, G100, G280. Retired engineer / executive - Delmarva Power, Conectiv Energy, and PEPCO Holdings, Inc.