Weather and Flight Experience
On an attempted flight from Michigan to Orlando I was flying into Knoxville in the worst haze I had seen in my 600 hours. I could see the expressway I was following, and forward visibility was VFR-Legal. Following the expressway, I would not expect a mountain to appear in the windshield.
The fairly short forward visibility made me nervous, even more so when a mountain appeared off the right wing. So I climbed, told the Knoxville tower that I couldn't see the airport, and the calm and beloved controller vectored me to the runway. I was VFR-Legal at all times, but VFR-Dumb. There could have been a tunnel on the expressway, or an unusually sharp curve around a peak.
But, so far, so good. The next day it appeared that the weather - I've heard it called a "confederate front" - would not let me go on to Florida for several days, so I decided to return to Michigan. The ceiling was VFR-OK over Knoxville. Haze was reported immediately north of Knoxville, with clear sky from there on.
It seemed sensible to fly through a little haze to get into the severe-clear a few miles North. So I took off, climbed to 2,000 feet R&R (between my rear & the ridges), and turned north into that VFR-Legal haze. I could see the trees. OK, it should be turning clear soon.
But then somebody turned a fire hose on the windshield. No lightning, no thunder, just frog-strangling rain. Extremely nervous now (read "scared witless"), I did a passable job on the instruments, made a shallow 180 to get out of it, flew east into clear air, and turned north for a clear flight to Michigan. Until that haze-turned-to-clouds-turned-to-rain, I was VFR-Legal, and VFR-Dumb. That could have been thunder & lightning and a busted airplane.
To other VFR-only pilots, I offer this advice: