Friday, May 6, 2016

Beautiful Danger

Yesterday's enthusiastic delegation from China
Yesterday, I gave a speaking engagement called The Apple Way. I usually give it in Cupertino to business people from China. But yesterday's group was close to 50 people, so I used another venue about 12 minutes from the Infinite Loop campus in San Jose. The core of the two hour presentation is about what makes Apple unique when it comes to design and marketing. 

My plan was to fly up on Wednesday, give the talk on Thursday morning, have lunch at Apple with a buddy, and then fly home Thursday afternoon. Everything worked out, except my flight back. The weather turned bad by the time I reached the southern part of California's Central Valley and I had to divert to Meadows Airport in Bakersfield. It was cloudy and raining and I was flying a few thousand feet above the freezing level. My small plane doesn't have ice protection like the big boys. I could see ice building up on my wing after flying through the clouds, which can quickly become dangerous. As ice builds up, it changes the shape of the airfoil and compromises the wing's aerodynamic lift.

At 11,000', the temperate was well below freezing
Air traffic control was very helpful in suggesting that I land at Meadows Field Airport in Bakersfield since that airport had a precision approach. A precision approach guides a pilot into an airport when the runway can't be seen until only a couple hundred feet above the ground. This is accomplished by sending out a radio beacon that keeps the plane lined up with the runway and on the proper glide slope. This was the first time I've ever diverted, overnight, and it worked out nicely.

Once I landed, I needed to find a place to stay for the night. Airbnb to the rescue with a $36 room. But the weather's still too bad, today, so it looks like I'll be spending another night in Bakersfield.

To add to the inconvenience, I left my iPhone charging cable in the presentation classroom. Also, there are no restaurants within walking distance of my Airbnb. So, it was off to Walmart for food and a cable. The walk to Walmart was nice, but it started raining while I shopped. So, I "Lyfted" back to my Airbnb.

Hopefully, I'll fly out tomorrow. It's always something. But, better safe than sorry. In the mean time, I keep watching this beautiful danger:

No comments: