Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bright Lights, Not So Big City ...

The mountains of my childhood were giant, man-made, glimmering structures that were lit all day by the sun and all night by various flavors of electricity. The Manhattan skyline is still a thing to behold. I think many people love dusk and watching how as the sunlight dwindles, darkness rises and luminosity is redefined. Things don't look quite the same as light begins a different dance. They say the majority of our brain is devoted to processing visual input, so it's perhaps no coincidence that the daily cycle can at times hold a magical fascination.

I finally managed to spend a Sunday afternoon with N5210A (aka, the plane) gluing down various loose panel stripping, cleaning bits and pieces, and generally making sweet sweaty love in a strictly platonic, engineering kind of way. Machines are happier when well cared for. Ever notice how your car feels faster after you wax it or change the oil?

So after a long hot day of twisting my back, arms and fingers into odd positions, I did a quick polish up then realized I had some daylight left. There wasn't enough time to fly anywhere in particular. But I am a big fan of practice making perfect, especially landings. So as the sun sank beneath the mountains, I called my CFI and got approval to do a few runs around the block. The sky was gorgeous as nature put on her evening night gown.

Here's some video taken while flying around the airport. You can see Charlottesville in the distance shortly after takeoff then the rising moon pass by. A clear veiw of 29N follows snaking its way towards DC. As I come around to land, Chris Greene lake passes beneath and the pretty lights of runway 21 lead me, billboard style, home.

video

Lights are pretty even when they're not part of a big city.