Change Of Plans
Flying|June 2017

A Sightseeing Flight Takes a Wrong Turn.

On the morning of December 29, 2015, I was planning a flight in my flying club’s Piper PA-28-235 from Northwest Regional Airport (52F) in Roanoke, Texas, to Clark Field Municipal Airport (KSEP) in Stephenville. The idea was to have lunch at a favorite barbecue restaurant. I planned to depart 52F and land at Fort Worth Meacham International Airport (KFTW) to pick up my passengers and then continue on to KSEP. We would then return to KFTW later that afternoon. This would be my passengers’ first flight in a GA airplane.

I called Flight Service and received a weather briefing for the flight beginning at 10 a.m. and ending around noon. The weather forecast was OK except for some potential low-level fog around KSEP and the possibility of increasing overcast at 1,000 feet agl in the Dallas-Fort Worth area after noon. I was also informed that the AWOS broadcast at KSEP was out of service. I was told there were no TFRs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area other than the usual one over the Bush residence, near Dallas Love Field (KDAL).

I am not instrument rated and thought it best to alter my plans rather than deal with potential fog and low overcast on the return flight that afternoon. I decided I would pick up my passengers and fly them over downtown Fort Worth and Benbrook Lake since the current conditions called for strong VFR.

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