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The hardest thing I’ve ever done in an aircraft

Contrary to the forecast of only scattered clouds, the visibility continued to drop to the point at which it was less than 20 ft. Now we were in very close formation, at night, in thick, lightly turbulent clouds, with light icing. I could see the wingtip light of the tanker but not the fuselage! Here is where things got dicey—not because of the weather, but because I really needed to pee!

An unexpected cross country challenge

Finally clear of the Detroit area, I tried to settle into the routine of following roads and railroads back to Indiana and things were going pretty well. Then, sometime after passing Toledo, I started to feel a little queasy. It was a typical spring day with the usual level of convective bumps along the route so initially I figured I might be feeling the effect of those and gave it no serious thought—for a while. Maybe 15 minutes or so later, my stomach really started to revolt.

Understanding Vb: turbulence penetration speed

It should be clear that when expecting/encountering turbulence, that pilots should fly a speed that is slower than Va by at least the value of the maximum gust—airspeed gain—they expect to encounter, and higher than Vs1 by the same value for potential airspeed loss. Va is simply too fast!