Sweet puppy Goober and his siblings were surrendered to a rural Tennessee shelter recently after their aging owner could no longer care for them. ABTCR (American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue) jumped in to help the litter and Mom. They were taken to safety and were cared for by generous foster families.

Unfortunately Goober missed his scheduled commercial transport due to some confusion and possibly a mechanical issue with the transport van. So we wanted to help by continuing our program where pilots train while providing transport to hounds in need. In this case Jeff was going to use his plane and work on his instrument rating. In yet another stroke of bad luck for Goober, Jeff’s plane had a mechanical issue the weekend before the transport.

HoundPilot couldn’t let Goober’s anxious adoptive Mom down so we decided to step in and fly this little peanut from Tennessee to Ocean City, Maryland in our aircraft.

It wasn’t an easy flight. This year we seem to be in a late July/August weather pattern, in MAY! Thunderstorms and convective activity looked likely across the midpoint of our 1400 mile 10 hour journey.

We studied the weather and determined that if we left early with the faster plane we could climb on top of the worst of the early buildup of weather and obtain routing southeast around the afternoon thunderstorms on the way back to the eastern shore of Maryland.  By then it will have moved southeast of our path returning home. If not we would execute Plan B or C and land to wait it out. This was a great learning experience for Jeff even though he wasn’t able to log instruction toward his instrument rating or fly his plane. Weather is one of the most difficult subjects in what is widely considered the toughest of all the pilot ratings to obtain. Even with he knowledge and tests passed, putting it to real world flying without meeting your demise is a challenging balance of applying knowledge, judgement, and aeronautical decision making.

It was a long day for the pilot and his copilot, who also volunteered his time to help. Goober is now relaxing comfortably in the yard of his new home tonight thanks to an amazing dog rescue, a foster family, and his adoptive Mom.

In the end we safely accomplished the mission due in no small part of many ABTCR volunteers who behind the scenes coordinated and worked to make this happen, foster mom who kept Goober safe and brought him to meet us, and adoptive mom who will love Goober.

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