The view from the cockpit is unbelievable this evening. Glancing out of the window I see the sun bidding me farewell behind billowing clouds. I wish that I could share this with you but a picture just wouldn’t do it justice even if I could stop long enough to snap a quick shot.
There are a few distant clouds that the sun is peaking between, hues of deep red and rich gold loom in the air. Flying always takes my breath away but it’s even more spectacular tonight as the veil is pulled down slowly and I watch the sun fade while the lights of the distant city come alive.
The lay of the land changes and lights dance against the new moonlit sky. It’s the most magical time to fly, watching the sun set from the air, the lights coming up and the dark mask of the evening arriving. I’m so amazed and enthralled by the beauty of it that just taking it all in this first time is completely distracting to me. However, I’m still focused on the task at hand, flying, currently straight and level.
There is a beauty in the air that you cannot capture from the ground, breathless moments like tonight that are as addictive as the human touch. I believe this is my favorite time to fly, to see the sky in all its wonder.
I turn to a heading of north on the compass to make my way back to Wilgrove. I’m cruising at 2500 feet and around 110 mph. Since it’s my first evening flight, this will be the first time I get to land using the runway lights. I can’t navigate yet and I haven’t learned the lay of the land from the air. I’d be flying blind if not for Robert’s directional guidance tonight. He calls out navigational numbers to get me back to the airport.
Once I’m close enough, he shows me how to turn on the lights so we can see the runway. Even though I haven’t landed by the runway lights before I don’t really give it much thought as I’m focused on Robert’s instructions for landing. I listen as he gives me directions on the position of my flaps, trim adjustments and speed in order to bring it in low across the tree tops. It still makes me a little nervous but I love the idea of getting it over the trees and bringing it in so that we are landing fairly soon on the runway giving us plenty of room for getting it slowed and stopped.
Another successful flight under my belt and noted in my log book. I am left tonight with a gentle peace after witnessing the transition from daylight to moonlight. I look forward to another evening flight soon just so I can breath it all in again.