Think Again

During the holiday season, there can often be pressure to be in a place at a specific time. You may have a big family gathering planned, possibly at several distant locations within a span of a couple of days. Get-There-Itis becomes a reality.

Making the choice to stay on the ground or turn around if the weather isn’t what you expected is very difficult. But remember this: While your family members may be upset that you didn’t show up at their Christmas buffet table, they would much rather have you be able to show up there next year. When it comes down to it wouldn’t you rather have Christmas dinner at a vending machine at some random airport and spend the night on its floor than to end up in the dirt with a busted up airplane, never to enjoy pork tenderloin, ham or mashed potatoes again?

If, when you go through your preflight or weather briefing, you say to yourself: “It should be ok” — think again. If something goes awry or the weather closes in, do you have an out? Or are you better off staying put and either driving to where you’re going or trying again the next day? Unfortunately it is likely that some families will miss their beloved pilot members at this year’s holiday dinner table. Do your best to make sure your family is not one of them.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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