Archive for December 2008

Snowy Jackson Hole

December 28, 2008

Sometimes as a pilot the best choice is to not go, or find an alternative way to get you to your destination.  A week ago this was a tough choice, because it involved a) a real desire to get home (to the grandparents) for Christmas with my family of 4 boys b) seriously questionable to bad weather for a Malibu and c) terribly bad commercial airline alternatives, from both a cost and schedule standpoint.  Despite the pressures, the airmets for icing and turbulence, severe winds (100mph aloft and gusting 20-30 on the ground), the normal arrival challenges of Jackson Hole (mountains, difficult to find good alternates with different WX), all made the choice pretty clear, even if it wasn’t the one I wanted.  We waited home for a few days in hopes that the bad weather would pass, but as Christmas approached, we bit the bullet and jumped Southwest to SLC, with plans of driving up from there.

The Southwest flight was among the best commercial experiences I’ve ever had (and I ride the airlines a lot for business travel). Folks were super friendly, our party of 6 got a full row, only one very quick stop in LAS, and we were comfortably (and safely) on the ground in SLC.

We then got really lucky and borrowed a friend’s PC12.  This turned a 5 hr drive in the snow into a 50 minute flight above it, with a professional pilot bringing us in the ILS (almost all the way to minimums!). And oh what a view! Photos attached