J. Mac McClellan and I are very different sorts of pilots. In fact, he would start with me right there, as he's an aviator and I'm a stick-and-rudder man through and through that likes the word pilot for the precise definition that fits what I do in an aircraft. He's an IFR/GPS/autogizmoed bubblepump actuator/Nextgen automaton guru that writes stuff that leaves my eyes more glassed over than a CTLS cockpit most of the time. Indeed, based on a lot of his articles I'm convinced that I simply can't afford to be an aviator - my whole homebuilt costs less than five inches of his panel!
In the June issue of SportAviation (space omitted to ensure proper hipness is acknowledged), I sort of scanned over his article (we can't even agree on flight sims - MS Flight Sim is a snoozer; I prefer Rise of Flight) he had a little gem tucked into the usual IFR worship stuff he peddles that caught my eye:
"[W]hen a forecast contains the chance of poor weather ahead, but your departure point and first part of the trip is okay, you need to fly up to where the chance of bad weather is forecast and see what happens."
Emphasis is mine on the middle bit there, as it's the difference between "Mac wants me dead" and "Oh, I get it, he wants me to stretch and improve."
Initial reaction on reading the quoted section was suitable horror. So was the second. But really it's no different from my own individual training program, which includes flying in conditions at the edges of my personal minimums (which my CFI - I'll never think of him otherwise - says is narrow as a [descriptor redacted]). I'm supposing he's implying a healthy dose of common sense as well.
"Bad weather" means a lot of different things to different pilots. To Mac it's probably a thunderstorm producing EF3 or greater tornadoes made of sleet and ball bearings. To me in the Champ I rent while I plod along with the Nieuport, it's 15kts wind with any number associated with the letter G. I live in Alabama, so one can add 5kts "variable vertical" to any wind condition as well. Naturally, one would have to research the type of couches at the Planned Diversion Airfield, and also be prepared to just turn around and go home if it got flaky on the way there...
But I thought it would make a good topic to get opinions on...