One Ugly Cell

Today was shaping up to be a great day to fly…high overcast and calm winds. Not exactly the type of day you’d think of going out flying. So I was pretty pleased to get an out of the blue demo flight show up. Had him all SFAR’d and through my ground routine, let him work through the pre-flight since he seemed interested. And then as I look up from the start-up checklist I see one ugly cell. Over the next 5 minutes I watch it close in on us, and I decided not to do the flight. Felt bad after dragging that guy through everything to bag it the minute before turning the ignition. Think I made the right choice?

KPWT 262155Z AUTO 20012KT 10SM FEW039 FEW047 BKN055 10/03 A3014 RMK AO1
KPWT 262135Z AUTO 21009G15KT 10SM SCT037 BKN046 BKN055 12/02 A3015 RMK AO1
KPWT 262115Z AUTO 22008KT 180V240 10SM BKN037 BKN048 BKN055 11/03 A3014 RMK AO1
KPWT 262055Z AUTO 17006G14KT 10SM BKN037 12/03 A3015 RMK AO1 57003
KPWT 262035Z AUTO 20003KT 10SM BKN034 BKN043 11/03 A3015 RMK AO1
KPWT 262015Z AUTO 24004KT 10SM FEW025 BKN036 BKN041 11/03 A3016 RMK AO1
KPWT 261955Z AUTO 18004KT 10SM FEW026 BKN035 09/03 A3016 RMK A


Unusual Airspace

Prepping for a ground lesson today. I’d assigned a student to plan a cross-country originating from KAST, and noticed the Class E designations:

The semi-circular segments and piece-meal layout of the Class E airspace looked pretty odd, and I couldn’t let it go without trying to figure out why. Instrument rated pilots might already have a clue. I had to look it up to see if I was right. The answer is in AIM 3-2-6(e), and looking at the instrument approach procedures really cements that bit of learning. This ILS approach for KAST involves a 19 NM DME arc that exactly overlays the Class E extension on the VFR sectional.