Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Window views

I recently bought a coffee table book that had photographs of views from the airplane windows. It was very nice to realize that i am not the only crazy person glued to the window while clicking my shutter. I had some luck on this recent trip with few pictured of Cyprus mountains as well as bird's eye view of downtown London.

London on approach path

Downtown London, Thames, London eye, Tower Bridge

Some mountain lake on a way from Lanaca to Heathrow and leaving the mainland towards UK

Cyprus from air. Throdos mountains. Note the grey cloud of smoke from most recent wildfires.

LHR airplanes

Had a few hours to kill at LHR waiting for connection. Amasing how time flies when you have a camera to play with! I love the rainy landings as the moisture on the wings can add some surreal effects.

On a way back, we sat on the tarmac for a while waiting for a T-storm to pass over. I turned back and snapped a long wet line up behind us and the plane right after us for take off.

Airplanes at YYZ

I took my cameras with me on a recent commercial flight on YYZ-LHR-LCA and back route. My first ever time flying on a one of AirCanada's newest Boeing 777's. That airplane is absolutely huge. Note two entrance sleeves - closest one is for business class pax.

While waiting to board the airplane, i occupied myself with shooting the landings of various airplanes.

My window seat at the back of the airplane was in Row 52 and there were still a number of rows behind me. I occupied myselt with the views our of the window for a while - although i must note that i liked the view of downtown Toronto from a small Cessna so much better. I have to re-start my night rating one of these days.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I have read a lot about building tolerance to G's while doing acro, but did not think it would apply at my (very beginner) level. Turns out i was wrong.

Recently, I had an acro session after a 3 weeks break from my previous acro flight. During this break i flew a lot on commercial airliners, but that's a subject of a next post.

I was very eager to fly after such a long break and planned to basically repeat the program i did 3 weeks before. Hammerheads (still the easiest one for me to do), loops, aileron rolls, inverted flight and may be try a slow roll or too. Change directions with HH or 1.5 turn spins. I did about an hour of these items last time around and enjoyed it immensely.

I normally fly in the mornings and either bike or scuba dive in the afternoon, so i planned the ride for the afternoon as well.

The Wx was VFR, but with intermittent showers in the area. The cloud bases were very high and the air was surprisingly smooth, so i was all set for a nice acro day. Except i could not.

20 mins into the flight, after a few HH, loops and rolls, my stomach just could not take it anymore and wanted straight and level. I was trying to fly through some light showers, so i took a break and picked my way to the clear weather again. Thinking the stomach should have settled, i tried a few more aileron rolls and then inverted flight again - not a very good idea. It was only 40 mins into the flight, so i thought if i do a bit more straight and level, i can try a few spins. During the first spin, i knew i had to go land fast as my stomach just could not take it anymore and i was getting very tired.

The wind picked up while i was gone and were gusting 15 kts directly across the Rwy, so i had to crab at a 45 degree angle. I figured i will try to land and if i am still blown sideways I'd go around and land on a grass directly into the wind. As i was transitioning from crab into slip and flaring, the wind stopped (it is blocked by the buildings at touchdown point), resulting in me over-correcting and drifting into the wind. I corrected back while adding a bit of power. The resulting landing was not one of my most graceful ones, but me and my stomach were safely on a ground.

I did not do anything else that day as i was feeling completely wiped out. I then remembered that that was a bit similar to how i felt after my first ever spins lesson and realized how much tolerance i must have built without even realizing it and how easy it was to loose it, especially with a bit of remaining jet-lag from a previous week's vacation.