Monday, April 23, 2012

On a wing and a prayer

 My preferred transportation is my Vespa, by a wide margin.

Today the destination was Washington DC. The Vespa wasn't an option.

Yet there was quite a rare treat in store.  Transportation was courtesy of the aeronautical equivalent of a Vespa, in this case a Beechcraft 9 passenger King Air.
The cross-winds at Dulles were ferocious.  Being able to see out of the cockpit windows and the side windows simultaneously during the landing was a treat, and made counter steering the Vespa at full throttle on a curving expressway ramp seem quite tame by comparison.

The plane seemed headed straight for the runway, but was gyrating on its axis by what seemed to be 15 to 20 degrees to the left then to the same extent to the right.  Turbulence was simultaneously tossing us up and down like a toy.

The amazing thing was that the plane touched down light as a feather, with no wrenching at all.  Seeing all the left-right rotation in the split-seconds before the plane touched down made that smooth landing all the more improbable and remarkable.  I guess that gets chalked up to the pilot's skill.

All things considered, I didn't miss the scoot commute today.


SonjaM said...

Everybody seems to be going places these days.

This transportation is a worthy alternative to Vespa scootering.

Canajun said...

I love the small planes where, as you say, you get to look out the pilot's window as well. Quite a different perspective than with the large jets.

The City Mouse in the Country said...

Why do I have a feeling their is a new hobby for you in the future?

Unknown said...


did you bring your GoProHD Hero2 ? It is an easy way to bring back "stealth" video. I use mine more OFF bike, than ON. Don't forget it also takes "stills"

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

Trobairitz said...

Did you thank the pilot as you left the plane?

I've flown on the little Air BC planes before that you have to walk out to the tarmac and up the stairs and don't seat very many people. They are an experience in winter.

Gary France said...

Those sideways approaches must be somewhat scary! It is cool the way the pilot turns right at the last minute to land straight.

David Masse said...

Thanks for the comments!

Canajun, it's odd that I felt more safe in that small aircraft with all that rocking and rolling than if I had been experiencing the same thing in a large commercial plane.

Trobairitz, you're darn right I thanked the pilot.

Robert, that's a hobby I couldn't afford. I have enough trouble keeping up with my modest little Vespa love affair.

Gary, that's got to be exactly how it was handled. Just an unbelievably smooth poised landing with all that drama just before.

Sonja, we need pics from down under.... I'll scoot over to your blog to take a peak.

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.