*Clamps a corncob pipe in his mouth* Aye me laddies, draw up here to 'ole Garnetpalmetto while I tell you of the time I had to fly through the great Hurricane Isabel of 2003. You see, I had to fly from CAE
and was booked on a US Airways Express D328. Not thet jet-version mind you, but the turboprop-powered one. As I sat in the airport bar helping myself to one or two rounds, my gaze was focused on the TV
which was showing pictures of the hurricane starting to make landfall. To make matters worse, the flight was delayed. Apparently PSA keeps its 328s together with baling wire and chewing gum, but in short order we boarded. About halfway through the flight, the flight attendant started at the back of the plane talking to flyers individually and I knew then that something was up. When he got to me he explained that some gremlin in the aircraft's weather radar was acting up and that the radar had died on them. PHL
would not allow us to land with a non-functioning radar and, as a result, we would divert to PIT
so that the mechanics could replace the radar.
Now at this point you're thinking "Flying through a hurricane without a weather radar...risky, but not too bad." Oh no, my friends. The turbulence was awful. Many an airsickness bag was filled to the brim as the poor wretches puked their guts out. It felt as if the plane dropped out from under you only to slam back into you seconds later. Then, while looking out the window I saw we were in the midst of heavy rain, winds, and worst of all, ice. Yes, ice forming on the wings, engines, and props. So with ice accumulating, a blind radar, pea soup visibility, and a howling wind we made our way to Pittsburgh.
While we did land safely, the combination of the time it took to repair the radar and a groundstop in PHL
due to high winds caused the aircrew to have to go off duty, thus rebooking me on a PIT
flight that departed some 4 hours later.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.