Aviation

Your flight has been delayed – General Aviation News

One of my daughters recently flew on a commercial flight. As she waited patiently by the gate, a dreaded delay message flashed on the screen.

Minutes passed, and there was no explanation.

An hour passed and the best guess anyone at the gate had was service issues. The delay dragged on. Eventually a plane appeared at the gate, the frustrated travelers boarded the plane and everyone was taken to their intended destination.

In the world of commercial air travel, delays are usually accompanied by frustration and the possibility of missing a connection. As the anger of our companions grows, so do the number of their complaints. Maybe a fight is starting. Occasionally a fight breaks out.

None of this helps the plane arrive earlier. The mechanics aren’t speeding up troubleshooting and repairs because John and Bill from Denver are yelling about the importance of the meeting they have coming up on the other end of this flight. Jolene’s insistence on getting home in time to take care of her kids doesn’t really matter much to the speed or efficiency needed to fix any problem.

An airline is a complex collection of moving parts that include aircraft, personnel, computer systems, weather and even maintenance. All of these variables can combine to create a bit of a mess – a mess that tends to spiral as the web of spokes connected to their hubs causes one failure to trigger another and another. Soon, people waiting at the gate in Buffalo can’t imagine why the delay in Orlando and the thunderstorm in Oklahoma City affected their travel plans.

Let me explain this point. I have nothing against airlines. I have been flying commercial aircraft since 1965. Most of the time I enjoyed it. This is true, although I have spent most of my life traveling as a non-revolving passenger. That’s industry talk for standby flights. And believe me, I’ve done my fair share of standing on the sidelines while planes left the gate without me.

The speed and convenience of air travel means at least the possibility of a delay or two. Sometimes the delay is measured in minutes. Sometimes it is measured in days. Plan accordingly.

Personally, I prefer to travel on general aviation aircraft. A King Air would be nice, and I had the pleasure of being flown home once by Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) President Mark Baker aboard a King Air. It was a wonderful experience.

But I don’t have a King Air at my disposal. To be honest, I would probably go white with the fuel bill.

King Air 250.

The same goes for the Cessna Caravan. I would love to own one, but this purchase will have a huge negative impact on my life, judging by my wife’s reaction when the subject was brought up.

In February 2023, I will be taking a fairly long trip from central Florida to Buckeye, Arizona. The reason for the trip is work. Yes, this is a business trip situation. I will go in 2023 Buckeye Air Fair. While on the site I will be presenting AOPA Rusty Pilot Workshop and perhaps engage in fun and educational activities with a group of students. I’m really looking forward to it.

My transportation to the venue will be my company car, a 1980 Cessna 152. You can follow my travels if you want. My last ride is N104UC.

Jamie’s “company car”.

It is approximately 1800 miles and the same distance back. I flew on in the C-152 and had a good time. But I can assure you, there will be delays.

Weather is an important factor. The human element is not immune either. Fatigue is a good reason to delay takeoff so the pilot can take a nap. Hunger is no joke either. The mind doesn’t stay as sharp when fueled only by peanut butter crackers of questionable age found in the odd vending machine.

To be honest, I’m often confused by the delays. I once spent three days in Jennings, Louisiana, on a long cross-country flight because a nasty front stalled on my way east, leaving a couple hundred miles of low AFR to just sit there and taunt me. Calling the boss that I won’t be going anywhere for a while is not my idea of ​​a fun conversation. But I’m calling. My boss accepts my situation as it is. Life goes on.

GA travel differs from commercial travel in that my GA delays usually lead to interesting and rewarding situations. I wasn’t stuck at the gate waiting. I am at an FBO or a hotel.

If I’m lucky like I was at Jennings, I can roam free. I meet new people and see sights that weren’t obvious before. Maybe there’s a museum nearby or a local restaurant that’s really worth a visit. Perhaps there is a festival going on in the city where I am temporarily stuck. That is, I can be late, but I am never bored.

The educational component should also be taken into account. More than once I sat with a local CFI discussing the terrain, the weather, the best route to take me to my destination, or where I could find inexpensive fuel along the way.

The careful statement about GA travel is true. If you have free time, fly by air. Of course, there is an addition I would like to add to this expression that has proven true for me. If you want to expand your experience, meet exciting people and truly enrich your life, fly.

Whether you’re traveling 50 miles, or 500 miles, or 5,000 miles, the stops you’ll make along the way can make the trip much more special than a nonstop flight. You will cherish the memories forever.

https://generalaviationnews.com/2022/11/22/your-flight-has-been-delayed/ Your flight has been delayed – General Aviation News

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