I've lost the winds that would have given me a comfortable reserve at Majuro. So I need to top off in Honolulu on the way. But the thunderstorms are still in my way. Aviationweather.govshows them now consolidated into a narrow line between Molokai and Oahu, with a yellow "severe thunderstorm" box right across my route.
I didn't think Hawaii had weather like this. I'll keep an eye on it today, in case I get a chance to make my move.
Saturday 3rd March
It is 6:00AM in California and Gerald is about to depart for Hilo. Below is the tentative schedule. As he gets closer to Australia, we will have a better idea of the arrival time in Cairns.
Fri 02 Mar Santa Maria (SMX/KSMX) to Hilo (ITO/PHTO)
Sun 04 Mar Hilo to Majuro (MAJ/PKMJ) -- depart Sunday, cross the dateline, arrive Monday 05 Mar
Wed 07 Mar Majuro to Honiara (HIR/AGGH)
Thu 08 Mar Honiara to Cairns (CNS/YBCS)
Thursday 1st March
Well, we just keep trying. I am copying the message just received from Gerald who is still in California and waiting on favorable winds. We will keep trying!
I had to wait forever for the 00Z winds to come out, and when they did, they didn't do me any good. At FL120 I wouldn't need a tailwind at all—but I have headwinds. At FL060 I need an average 10-knot push, but I don't get into tailwinds until I'm halfway there, and it's not soon enough.
It's a little better today than it was yesterday. The winds are produced by a high that's moving west to east. If the headwinds and crosswinds on the first half of the route will go away, I think I'd be all right. Maybe that'll happen. If the high would move northeast instead of due east, that'd pull the tailwinds north into more of my path. But I think those highs will track east, and only gradually move north as the season advances.
It's frustrating. But at least I'm not stuck in Khartoum.
The winds still aren't there for today, but there's a dramatic improvement for Friday. I'll keep you advised.
Well, it is looking more and more like we will have success with a departure in the morning. The forecasted winds are looking better all the time. If that holds until midnight tonight, we will have the safety margins that we are needing.
Hopefully you'll see the Spyder Tracker start moving before you go to bed tonight.
Its 8:30 AM and indeed Gerald has departed Caravan. The winds have subsided a bit here in Kansas and over the Rocky Mountains. It appears to be safe for the flight at least as far as California. FYI, Strong headwinds still persist over the initial pacific crossing so he may op to stop in Arizona for the night, depending on the wind conditions.
I'll continue to keep you advised.
Well, once again I am finding myself having to apologize for another delay in the departure. You'll notice if you are monitoring then Spyder Tracker, that the aircraft is still in our hangar here in Kansas. We waited until after 2:00 PM today and finally had to scrub the departure for today. The winds are just too strong over the continental divide (Rocky Mountains) to safely fly over the 14,000 ft. Mountains with only one to two thousand ft. clearance. Actual surface winds today over the mountains were 50 to 60 knots. Too much turbulence for a heavily loaded Caravan.
It looks better for tomorrow, so we are planning on departure tomorrow morning. If the winds subside, he should be airborne by 9:00 AM.
I'll advise as soon as he's departed.
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