The View Is Better From The Top, And The Ride Is Smooth Too.

Every once in a while I get the opportunity to do something very cool.  Being a Pilot I get to do that a little more than most folks.  At least I like what I do and that is what really counts isn’t it?  No one wants to read the ramblings from someone who hates what they do and ends up mad at the world do they?

I travel to and from beach life every week, and recently at 30,000 feet I took this photo as we broke through the clouds heading back west towards Orange County’s John Wayne Airport.  This was southwest of Chicago, and we were very happy to see sunshine and find smooth air.

Even as a pilot some of the long range travel can get fatiguing.  Long flights at high-altitude can sometimes get very boring in the cockpit. Other times it can be extremely busy, looking for other airplanes, finding holes around thunderstorms and just running the normal checklists.  The old saying was “A pilot is paid to fill the seat for 99% of the year.  The other 1% he earns his keep”.  Now that computers run more of the flying this is even more true.

Some days just feel worse than others.  You can end up in the clouds bouncing around in very “tight” airspace so you are changing radio frequencies every few minutes and looking at a computer screen covered with little white dots that represent “traffic”.  There is a 2 minute video that shows all the commercial air traffic in the world over a 24 hour period on the NASA website that is an eye opener.  The “big sky theory” no longer applies.

Then it happens.  Just like a golfer that double bogies all day and birdies the last hole, you break out of the weather, get “on top and smooth” only to find a computer screen completely void of traffic.  That moment makes all the work seem trivial.
On Top and Smooth

Even as a pilot some of the long range travel can get fatiguing.  Long flights at high-altitude can sometimes get very boring in the cockpit. Other times it can be extremely busy, looking for other airplanes, finding holes around thunderstorms and just running the normal checklists.  The old saying was “A pilot is paid to fill the seat for 99% of the year.  The other 1% he earns his keep”.  Now that computers run more of the flying this is even more true.

Some days just feel worse than others.  You can end up in the clouds bouncing around in very “tight” airspace so you are changing radio frequencies every few minutes and looking at a computer screen covered with little white dots that represent “traffic”.  There is a 2 minute video that shows all the commercial air traffic in the world over a 24 hour period on the NASA website that is an eye opener.  The “big sky theory” no longer applies.

Then it happens.  Just like a golfer that double bogies all day and birdies the last hole, you break out of the weather, get “on top and smooth” only to find a computer screen completely void of traffic.  That moment makes all the work seem trivial.

click the Buy Now button to download a full size image for your laptop or blackberry as a screensaver or wallpaper

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *