The overcast wasn’t budging. That much was obvious. It had been there all morning, and there it seemed determined to stay. That cloud deck—maybe a thousand feet above us, no higher—was a little ragged but with no hints of blue or even brightness to suggest it might burn off. VFR was not in the cards for today, and yet Roger and I were still walking out to the Piper to go flying to pick up a plane in Banning.
I was a new pilot, barely 18 years old, with a still white and crisp Private Pilot’s certificate in my wallet. Like many private pilots, especially new ones, for me flying was strictly VFR. I’d done my training in the desert, where, we’d brag, we’d get around 350 calendar days a year of sunny VFR. Suffice it to say that I had limited experience scud running, which was both a bad and good thing, I suppose.