The weather forecast for this day in Texas was very bad. The system with low ceilings and embedded thunderstorms was supposed to be over Dallas in the morning and was going to move towards Corsicana (south east). When we woke up in the morning (very early morning, in fact it was still dark outside) and checked the current weather it was exactly as forecasted before. The ceilings in Corsicana were around 5000 ft and the storms were not yet there. There were already some isolated storms north east of Corsicana. At the same time the current weather as well as forecasts indicated very good weather all the way from Louisiana to Florida. It seemed that we only needed to fly approx. 150 NM below this overcast to get to the edge of this front system. We decided to leave as soon as we could and try to escape from this weather. We took off at half past 7 o'clock, climbed to 4500 ft, got flight following and flew just below clouds (but still legal of course) for around 2 hours. As expected the weather was gradually improving, as we were getting closer to Louisiana and eventually the clouds above us has disappeared completely.
We landed in Natchitoches, LA to get fuel and the weather update for the rest of the route to Florida. After half an hour we were back in the air flying directly to Florida (with some bends to avoid active MOAs). As we got closer to Florida some scattered clouds appeared below us again.
At some stage when we were flying in Pensacola area we heard on the radio (Cairns Approach) a military aircraft having some in-flight emergency and needed to land at the nearest airport. The radio exchange between the pilot and the controller seemed very calm and professional and a bit cryptic to us, but as we could understand it he made it safe to the airport.
When we got closer to our planned fuel stop in Florida (Perry) we descended through a whole in the broken clouds below us and landed in Perry.
The last short flight of that day was from Perry to Tampa North. We made it below clouds at 3500 ft.
Tampa North turned out to be a very small privately owned airpark but open to public. It is located right on the edge of small residential area and some people have even hangers at the back of their homes with direct access to the runway.
We could not find any FBO at the field, but fund a grass transient parking where we left our plane.
For the next 5 days we plan to stay in Tampa. AOPA EXPO starts on Thursday. If the weather permits we plan to leave for our return trip on Sunday morning.
Vince was the pilot the whole day.