There is a ritual about it, settling into the seat, buckling the seat belt, listening to the engines start and the plane start to move, the slow taxi out, waiting clearance and then turning onto the active runway. Throttling up, you accelerate like a dragster and then the magic moment when lift exceeds drag, you start to lift off. From the first time I experienced it, it is a moment I have loved. Most takeoffs are at a gentle rate, once in a while you experience something special.
I was about 10 the first time I saw a business jet takeoff. I was at the local airport in Lapeer, Michigan with my father, a small jet owned by Valassic, the pickle people landed and half a dozen people got off. Rather then get in the waiting cars to leave, they stood around in front of the office watching, one of them said, you want to watch this, the flight crew is going to show us what it will do. The plane was flying to another airport for fuel, jet fuel was not available at the local, the jet had come in from nearly 1,000 miles away and was low on fuel. Only the pilot and first officer were on board, meaning the jet was about as light in weight as it could be. It taxied down to the end of the runway, locked the brakes and spooled up the engines so the acceleration was much faster than normal, about half way down the runway the plane started to climb, not at the normal 2-3,000 foot per minute rate, but at about 10,000 feet per minute. It wasn't exactly standing on its tail and going straight up, but as close as the pilot could make it go. Grown men smiled, young boys were moved to tears.
From that first moment I was hooked.
nice pix of you and sweet bear; alaska, correct?ReplyDelete
Anchorage, on a cruise. I got to sit in the right front seat.Delete
While I do dislike flying, I enjoy the take off and landing. Your take off must have been amazing to experience.ReplyDelete
Long flights can be uncomfortable, but the experience always excites me.Delete
And they say romance is dead :)ReplyDelete
Aren't we all romantics at heart?Delete
First: I LOVE that photo of you two.ReplyDelete
I've had none of the up close and personal experience of flying that you've had, but I do find it fascinating. Used to love to ride my bike to the fence by National Airport to watch the planes take off. Can you still get so close?
Yes, the Mt Vernon train still runs along the fence on the north side.Delete
what a lovely story and a splendid photo as well.ReplyDelete
On the float plane out of Juno, we were in the clouds for 10 minutes, flying up a canyon with mountains on both side, and about 10 feet of viability. The plane was either new or recently upgraded to the turbo engine, it had like 50 hours on it. The pilot was very-very good.Delete