Sunday, July 27, 2014
It rained all night. The weather when we woke up was overcast and very soggy. Uncle Stacy said he’d take the car back to the FBO and see what he could find out. Berck and I went back to sleep and slept until housekeeping knocked on our door at 10 a.m. Uncle Stacy called from the FBO and said that they’d said he could take the car back out again, provided we could bring it straight back if they needed it. He returned to the hotel and picked us up, and we went to Cackleberry’s for a decent breakfast/lunch.
We decided to return to the FBO, since that was as comfortable place to hang out as any. Berck and Uncle Stacy ensconced themselves in front of the weather computer at the FBO and just stared at the screen. Finally, in the afternoon, it looked like we’d be able to thread our way through a line of thunderstorms to clear weather on the other side. Then we’d be able to make it to Peoria and maybe even Rockford. Flight Aware shows our track.
Berck shepherded the plane between two thunderstorms and along among the clouds, and then the weather cleared and we were able to to fly straight to Schaumburg. Flying into Chicago airspace is tricky in a general aviation plane because you have to keep nice and low so the jets landing at O’Hare don’t crash into you. Unfortunately, there are also towers on the approach to Schaumburg that are higher than the altitude you’re flying . There was a tense period when we knew were flying right at three huge towers but couldn’t find them on the sectional map. At last we spotted the first one and navigated to the west of it. Now the problem was finding the runway. Because we were so low, we couldn’t see much of anything, much less a runway. To make matters worse, the runway was perpendicular to us and was behind buildings and tall trees. Berck spotted some hangers and decided the runway must be next to them, so we flew in that direction. Berck yelled, “There’s a freaking water tower at the end of the runway!”
To be continued…