Can't Always Fly a Straight Line

Written by Jim Bredy
Saturday, May 31, 2014

Photo of Jim Bredy.The following two photos demonstrate why we do not always fly a straight line, when trying to get from point A to point B. On May 31, I was enroute from Calgary, Alberta, to Winnipeg, Manitoba. The magenta line in the first photo shows my intended flight path. The green line with the plane in the picture shows my actual flight path. The second photo is an outside-the-plane shot of the thunderstorm. Although the thunderstorm and rain caused a slight deviation in my intended flight path, it is a good thing. The driest portion of the recently completed Southern Alberta Waterfowl Breeding Population Survey was in southeast Alberta, exactly where the storm is depicted. This rain will help sustain water levels in wetlands that already have water in them, and will help to re-charge the dry ones. I am hopeful for more rain this spring and summer, but also am hopeful the storms do not cause the devastation that spring/summer thunderstorms have been known to cause.

The above photo is a snap-shot of the Garmin 496 navigation unit that many of the FWS Biologist/Piolots use to aid them in navigation.  The magenta line depicts my intended flight path, while the green line shows my actual flight path.  Weather deviations are sometimes necessary to help maintain one's good health!

The above photo is a snap-shot of the Garmin 496 navigation unit that many of the FWS Biologist/Piolots use to aid them in navigation. The magenta line depicts my intended flight path, while the green line shows my actual flight path. Weather deviations are sometimes necessary to help maintain one's good health! Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS.

The above photo is a snap-shot of the actual storm depicted in the previous photo of the aircraft's Garmin 496 navigation unit.  This spring storm is helping to re-charge some of the wetlands in SE Alberta.

The above photo is a snap-shot of the actual storm depicted in the previous photo of the aircraft's Garmin 496 navigation unit. This spring storm is helping to re-charge some of the wetlands in SE Alberta. Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS.