I contacted my Plane Rental company and they offered to send over an IFR rated pilot in a powerful plane (Piper Aztec) to pick us up. This left our little Warrior at Knoxville airport to be picked up the following weekend.
I had never flown before in IMC in a GA airplane. The altitude assigned to us by Atlanta radio had us right at the tops of the clouds, so we would occasionally be above a valley of cloud and sometimes we were plowing through mountains of white fluff lit by moonlight. The effect was surreal and wonderful.
Overall this was a tremendous learning experience, our plane did not have any autopilot so I was able to hone my basic handling skills. Flying into more complex airspace than normal (C class, TRSA) and pushing myself to take advantage of the services offered have made me MUCH more comfortable with taking advantage of such facilities so that I will do so without hesitation in the future. The in-cockpit weather is a great tool and I think I will keep that subscription, however I will definitely be availing myself of the weather information services both on the ground and in the air on a much more frequent basis than before.
Mich is a great flying companion, she will voice her opinion when she doesnâ€™t understand something or feels there may be an issue but she is cool about the realities of GA flying â€“ i.e. sometimes you just canâ€™t get where youâ€™re going. Of course, bribing her with a nice hotel room never hurts 🙂.