Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cool as ice

Have you ever noticed how some people's voices go up about an octave and they switch to rapid fire mode when they get really excited, or scared ? I suspect that's one of the tests you have to take when you apply to become a commercial airline pilot. I'm sure that in order to pass this audition you need to sound like the captain on our flight this week.

Both legs of our journey had been very smooth till we were within 30 minutes of our destination. I had been watching a band of thunderstorms looming in the distance, and it looked like we were headed right for them. As we approached what by now looked like a solid wall of dark clouds, the captain came on the PA and in a calm, cool, unhurried voice said "Ladies and gentlemen, you may have noticed some clouds on the right side of the airplane. There are thunderstorms the rest of the way along our route and we're going to have to go through them. Please make sure your seatbelts are fastened - it could get a little bumpy."

"It could get a little bumpy." That's similar to a dentist telling you "you could feel a little pinch" as he stabs you in the most tender part of your gums with an 8" needle ! I suspect there were a few sweaty palms on board, but none in the cockpit.

For the next 20 minutes we weaved and dodged among the swirling mass of clouds which now towered over us. Here and there we would catch glimpses of the ground. We waited with bated breath for the inevitable roller coaster ride. Suddenly we broke through the bottom layer of cloud and were on the tarmac within minutes. Our captain had picked his way through the storms and not a drop would have spilled from a full glass of ice water.

(both shots made with an 18-55mm lens at f11, ISO200, shutter speeds of 1/640 and 1/500 sec)




20 comments:

Marty said...

très agité ce vol !je suis toujours
contente quand l'avion atterrit ! on est mieux les pieds sur le sol!!!
mais c'était l'occasion pour toi de faire de belles photos et de nous faire rire !!! super Rick !!
je te souhaite un weekend génial !
pour toi j'ai un wagon de bisous légers comme des nuages d'été !!!

imac said...

Very neat shots Rick.
I can just remember what its like in a plane, but them days we had holes in the floor and we all ran so we could take off, thats back in 1978.lol.

Riet said...

Wow beautiful sky pictures. That must have been some trip. Fijn weekend!

biebkriebels said...

Lucky you, you had such a great pilot and you were able to make some photo's.

Farmchick said...

Great photos, but the experience doesn't sound like fun!

Tiago Braga said...

great shoots, fantastic :D

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Airline pilots ALWAYS sound so relaxed no matter what! Great job with the pictures through the window! Glad you made it safe.

Leslie said...

So glad you made it safely, and hoping your vacation is peaceful and refreshing for you. I've been scrolling through the posts I've missed while my family and I were at the beach - lovely photos, although I'm sorry you, like so much of the continent, have been experiencing drought. And watch out for those heat indexes here in FL!

S. Etole said...

What a magnificent sky; glad you had smooth sailing!

darlin said...

Now how did I miss this post? I was coming by to say hello and here you are on holidays? I've totally missed something... some days it feels like I missed the boat entirely! lol

Wherever you may be have an amazing weekend. Fantastic shots and that's one heck of a good pilot if you ask me!

lisa said...

I would have absolutely died of fright!
Love your dentist analogy, but I would take the dentist with the 8" needle any day!!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Wow! This makes me think of our Ultimate Captain,Christ.
The road may be bumpy,But,He guides every step of the way.

Rick said...

Ha ha Marty - yes, I too am always glad to have both feet back on the ground - but flying does allow us to see the clouds either head on or from above which is tough to do from the ground ;-) Merci for the bisous, and I send you some wispy bisous in return !

LOL Stewart - been that long, has it ? Did you fly with the Wright brothers back then ? ;-)

Bedankt, Riet. Ja, 't was een beetje benauwd maar alles is goed afgelopen. Ook een fijne week.

Dank je wel, Marianne - die piloot heeft zijn best gedaan.

Rick said...

Thanks Farmchick - we got off pretty easy.

Obrigado, Tiago !

Yes, I think they'd sound like that no matter what the circumstances. Thanks Elizabeth !

Thank you, Leslie. We're hoping to hit some beaches this coming week. Summer is always guaranteed down here in FL - and we're loving the heat. We'll try not to get fried though.

Rick said...

Thank you Susan. We know who our co-pilot is.

We had this planned quite some time ago, and despite events, or maybe now more so, we needed some time off - down here in FL. Thanks Darlene, and yes, the pilot did a great job - and I mentioned that to him as we deplaned.

Actually our pilot did a masterful job to avoid the bumps, Lisa. Trade you the dentist for a bumpy ride though ;-)

Absolutely, Ruth - He never promised us a bump-free ride but did promise to bring us safely through !

Katherine said...

Oh my goodness... I know for one I wouldn't have coped too well in that situation. I would have had my head buried in my hands until we touched down. Thank goodness you had such a skilled pilot. The photos you captured are fantastic Rick!

Rick said...

Thank you, Katherine. We were thankful for the pilot's calm navigation around the storms - and the skies were very interesting !

Soraia Brito said...

Great photo!

Saz said...

What brilliant photo's! Love them. Also, sounds like you had a fantastic pilot! (: Glad you got through the storms safe.

Rick said...

Obrigado, Soraia !

Thanks, Saz - it was good to have both feet back on solid ground !