On the beauty of the billowy stuff, from the terrifying to the magnificent
I’m sitting in a hotel in Waco, Texas, watching what has been advertised as tornado weather blow through. Virtually all flying at Waco Regional, including my appointment to fly the Blackhawk King Air 200, has been canceled for the day because of the threat of tornados. As I sit in my room, watching the Brazos more »
It’s a slightly esoteric joy, but flying at night can be strangely satisfying.
Tonight, I fly in my own sensory deprivation chamber, a semi-anechoic capsule seemingly isolated from reality. The sun rolled down beneath the Earth hours ago, leaving me in a blackness well beyond merely dark. It seems there’s no outside light above or below, forward or aft, left or right. I’m suspended in an obsidian void more »
In Alaska, airplanes truly can take on any mission
The sound is unmistakable. Today, I’d recognize that sound in the first two seconds, but 50 years ago, it was totally alien to me. It was high pitched and guttural at the same time, the smooth, even roar of a gasoline-powered monster, a 1650 hp supernova on a leash. The first time I heard it, more »
Mountains have always represented the ultimate nemesis to some pilots. Though I understand the apprehension, I grew up in Alaska and California, so I accepted vertical terrain as normal, perhaps the ultimate and most spectacular manifestation of Earth’s variety. Learning to fly in Anchorage and Long Beach, I dealt with mountains during practically every flight, more »
Aviation is more than simply a means to an end. It’s an end in itself.
I wouldn’t want to be riding out on the wing tonight. The wind is roaring down out of the northwest like polar bear’s breath, a vicious torrent of air frozen by winter and twisted by the Rocky Mountains. Somewhere below, far down in a blanket of clouds and black sky one to three miles deep, more »
It was and remains the fastest jet that has ever flown
I’m not much on book reviews, but recently, I came across a new, coffee-table book I couldn’t put down. In fact, it was more likely a book I couldn’t pick up. “The Complete Book of the SR-71” is a massive, 10” x 13”, 260-page work by Colonel Richard H. Graham, USAF (retired). Following 210 combat more »
As one who has been trying to figure out this concept called flying for longer than I can remember, I’ve always been a little mystified as to why the same accidents seem to keep happening for the same reasons.