"Sarah" is now in Peoria, IL
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"Sarah" and Laura had completed their usual pre-flight duties. They got their weather briefing, filed the flight plan and had to wait. This flight would take them to Peoria, IL. There, a motorcade would pick up "Sarah" and take her to Eureka College to give what would be her version of The Speech, which they watched on "Sarah's" laptop computer.
Having watched the video, it was time to leave. The pair hopped in the plane, Laura did the run-up and got her clearance. A LearJet was sequenced ahead of her. "'Sarah,' the next trans-continental trip we do, I'll take you in that," Laura said.
After the Lear took off, Laura was cleared for her takeoff. As they departed, "Sarah" bid farewell to Lake Onalaska
The Mighty Mississippi River
Laura had filed for and received a clearance to cruise at 7,000 feet. The mighty Mississippi River came into view off the right wing.
Thunderstorm in Dubuque
Near Dubuque, IA, "Sarah" and Laura spotted a large isolated cumulus cloud. The rain shaft was clearly visible.
Flying through clouds was no mean feat of course for Laura, who is a skilled instrument pilot. Then she saw a flash of light from within the cloud, followed by another. The forked lightning strikes clearly indicated a thunderstorm - which did not come up on the weather briefing - but it came up here. Laura immediately requested a descent to 5,000 feet to stay below the thunder cloud, and permission to deviate toward the southwest, then back so as to go around it.
As Laura went around the cloud, she started planning a possible diversion. If this storm grew or followed the flight, Laura would divert to the nearest airport and land. Yes, "Sarah's" family was waiting for her in Eureka. Her hair dresser from Wasilla - Jessica Steele - was waiting too, only "Sarah" did not know that. The arrangement was a gift, and Laura had her little hands in that one. But, Laura was a disciplined pilot, and "Sarah" a disciplined passenger. Getting there alive, and with a plane that could be used again was something of a priority. While poor visibility kills pilots without an instrument rating, thunderstorms and icing are the killers for those with the rating. Laura knew that. She carefully watched the storm and saw it was stationary. Soon, the potentially life-threatening monster was left behind. The pair decided to continue the flight.
Quad Cities, Where the Mississippi River Runs East-West
The flight passed Quad Cities. Here the Mississippi River runs east to west rather than north to south. It is the only location in the United States, where the Mississippi River takes this turn.
Laura received her clearance for the approach to Peoria. The instruction was to fly to the southwest of the airport and land on the runway oriented northeast. Laura setup the approach on the GPS.
The plane was buffeted about as the approach began, just like in La Crosse. The pair thought nothing of it. The approach was perfect.
Laura has passed decision height and was ready to land, when a violent wind shear struck. There was no time to check on her passenger. Laura immediately applied full power, raised the flaps one notch at a time and told the controller she was going around.
"Sorry 'Sarah,' " she said. "That landing could not be saved, and" "Sarah" interrupted, "You did the right thing, Laura. It's all good."
Laura got setup to re-do the approach. "Sarah" and Laura both saw that some clouds which were over the airport were now south.
The second approach got them in. Laura taxied to General Aviation and tied down. The motorcade pulled in to get "Sarah" and her pilot. "Sarah" had a summons to answer.
Eureka College could be the place where Gov. Palin's summons to carry the Reagan legacy would be answered.
donating to the Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund
Last year, the Alaska Fund Trust was established to raise money to defend Gov. Palin against frivolous ethics complaints and lawsuits that were filed against her in a coordinated effort to drive her out of office. On June 24, 2010, the Alaska Fund Trust was replaced by Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund. Those of you who donated to the Alaska Fund Trust will be receiving refunds within 90 days from June 24. You will have the option to re-donate these funds to the new Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund, which is the official, and legitimate fund now in existence. Please re-donate those funds to the Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund.