PILOT PERSPECTIVE: Chopper 5 preps for bad weather - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

PILOT PERSPECTIVE: Chopper 5 preps for bad weather

Posted: Updated:
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Tuesday was a great day for flying. Wednesday -- not so much. Thursday... flying is not an option, so far.

Upon arrival at the airport Wednesday, I went through the normal routine of conducting the preflight inspection, checking maintenance records, and getting a weather briefing.

We knew that hazardous weather was expected. So, I knew that I would need to monitor the updates closely throughout the shift. We managed to fly to DeSoto Central High School for a student with a gun call before the weather started coming in.

After orbiting the high school for over an hour, providing live shots for the 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. broadcast, the plan was to stop at Olive Branch Airport for some fuel before going on our next assignment.

The next assignment was to find roadway maintenance vehicles spreading salt on Interstate 40.

As we departed Olive Branch on course for the Arlington area, it was clear that we wouldn't be able to bring that dimension to the developing weather story. From our location just north of Olive Branch Airport, we could see heavy rain and reduced visibility moving in from the west of Memphis International. Since Memphis International is our home base, it's kind of important that we're safely on the ground before hazardous weather moves in. Otherwise, we risk being stranded at an outlying airport.

My chopper partner, Jessica, advised the desk that we would be aborting our mission to Arlington due to weather and that we'd be returning to the hangar. I pointed Chopper 5 toward Memphis International and applied what is called "Maximum Continuous Power" or "MCP". Our MCP power setting allowed us to travel at just over 100 MPH and got us safely on the ground with some time to spare before the main body of the storm arrived.

I've learned that unlike Phoenix, Memphis weather can change quickly and needs to be monitored on a continuous basis. I'm interested to see what conditions are for the rest of the week.

Hopefully, we'll be able to get some clear skies and bring more great video to all of you Action News 5 viewers.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • April Mugshots

    April Mugshots

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-04-15 15:48:25 GMT
    James SiebenthalJames Siebenthal
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.More >>
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.More >>
  • 7-year-old girl writes book after mother's death

    7-year-old girl writes book after mother's death

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:31:56 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - Most 7-year-old girls are playing dress up and reading books, but one Mid-South girl is the exception—not just reading but writing books. Shiloh Sanders talked about the inspiration behind herMore >>
    Most 7-year-old girls are playing dress up and reading books, but one Mid-South girl is the exception—not just reading but writing books.More >>
  • Teen killed in crash after prom

    Teen killed in crash after prom

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:47:48 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - A young man's life was taken too soon. It was supposed to be a high school memory of a lifetime for Andrew Archer, but prom night turned into a tragic night for his family and friends. His promMore >>
    It was supposed to be a high school memory of a lifetime for Andrew Archer, but prom night turned into a tragic night for his family and friends.More >>
Powered by WorldNow