Tag Archives: flying

Flight

Pilot’s Delight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.

~ from High Flight by John Gillespie Magee

Magee (1922-41) fought and died in the Second World War; he was half-American, born in China, and served in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Magee wrote ‘High Flight’, a sonnet, about the exhilarating experience of flying through the air in a fighter-plane. Magee was killed in an accidental mid-air collision over England in 1941; his poem gained a new lease on life when then President Ronald Reagan quoted from it following the Challenger disaster in 1986.

Ice Runway

When you work in the north, lots of things are different. Since you’re surrounded by snow and ice for many months of the year, you learn to make tools of them.

Northern ingenuity.

So, what is this? It’s a frozen lake runway. There is another nearby airport (quite a large one, actually) that’s on dry land, but here, summer float planes can become winter ski or wheel planes just off Latham Island on Great Slave Lake.

Happy Wednesday. 🙂

Aerial Cloud View

This fabulous photo …

… was captured by Santiago Borja and published by National Geographic.

It is a gigantic cumulonimbus cloud (the kind that pilots are ever vigilant to avoid, especially during summer) over the Pacific Ocean; the photo was taken from about 37,000 ft.

The photographer captured this shot during one of the lightening flashes emanating from the cloud.

As a pilot, I have taken what I consider to be rather interesting pictures from aloft, but I have nothing even approaching this.

The original article can be seen here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2017/04/your-shot-unbelievable-landscapes/

Flying Above the Underside

On my recent return to Canada, I took some photos of the sunrise as we chased it into the west.

As we flew above the cirrocumulus clouds, it really hit me that this experience – flying into the west above a layer of lake-like rippled cloud, or most any flying at all – would soon be coming to a screeching halt.

I wondered about how much of this virus situation we have done to ourselves. There is a densely packed underside to humanity, and we all know of it.

Part of that underside is our insatiability.

There never seems to be enough money, food, clothes, cars, trips, technology … toilet paper, to satisfy us. We usually seem to need more, more, more of whatever it is, and sometimes, because of this, we are releasing things that we do not understand or respect, even tiny little things, like viruses. Are we simply just ignoring this? Flying above it?

Is this Earth’s way of slowing us down? Of forcing a break? Is Earth finally getting a much-deserved rest?

What do you think?

To Recline or not to Recline?

I have done a lot of flying. As a pilot or passenger, I’ve spent loads of time in airplanes, both large and small. I am intimately acquainted with how cramped the environment is and getting into the pilot’s seat often feels a bit like I’m a puzzle piece squeezing into my slot.

I’ve banged my knees, whacked my head, knocked my elbows and thumped myself in innumerable other places getting in and out of pilot seats and airplanes. They are not built to be places of sprawling comfort. Anyone who has ever been on an airplane of any size knows that.

So, what about the argument around seats? That is, do you recline or don’t you?

I don’t recline. Neither does my 191 cm (6 ft 3 in) husband. And frankly, I get a little irritated when others do, especially if I’m trying to use my little table for whatever reason: working, eating, sleeping (yes, I sometimes sleep on the table). I don’t want a strange person in my lap, and I’m sure the people behind me don’t want me in their laps.

We’re all in this cramped space together, so let’s try to be as respectful and careful with each other as we can. That’s how I see it, anyway.

However, that’s often not how these things go.

Recently, a man aboard a commercial flight in the US began banging on the seat of the person ahead of him because she had reclined. Here’s the article:

https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/airline-passenger-says-she-s-hurt-after-her-reclined-seat-repeatedly-punched-1.4816808

Part of the problem is that airlines have crammed people in, but I also understand about the narrow margins on which airlines operate. And to be fair, this has been a problem for many, many years. I remember my mother complaining about the “recliners” when I was a child.

What is your opinion? Should airlines remove the recline function on airplane seats? Should we avoid using the recline function out of respect for our flight mates?

Flying Anyone?

I found this airplane stuck to a pole …

20180709_1108063493867108947540554.jpg

It’s one of the types I learned to fly, back when I was in my salad days.

It made me a bit sad to see it there, poised as if in flight but stuck, permanently roosted and rooted to the ground, a facsimile of its former self. Not a good place for an airplane to be.

People can be stuck too. They look like they’re going somewhere but they’re not. Straining forward but frozen, seeing but sightless.

Airplanes are meant to fly.

So are we all.

Happy New Year, everyone. Good wishes for 2019. 🙂