By lex, on November 9th, 2011
Which it’s our birthday, and we plan to spend it at Flight Level 290 ferrying a jet from Fallon to Buckley ANGB, in Aurora, CO. Overnight thither, then on to Newport News via Scott AFB on Thursday. Home on Friday night, the Good Lord willing and the dam don’t break.
Cold and clear last night, the kind of night where the desert gives up its heat rapidly as the sun goes down. The veterans talk of “pogonip”, the ice fogs the natives around these parts called the “white death,” although it’s probably still too early for that. The kind of night where you give everything one last look and tug on pre-flight, knowing that it would be a bad night to have to go for a walk.
A good moon, though. Nearly full and high throughout the evening, two fists at least above the canopy rail. Contrails in the south where the bandit FA-18s and F-16s are capping. Contrails in the west where the blue forces are marshaling their strength. Got her going at 1.1 Mach once east of the Stillwaters, and she had plenty left, straining at the leash. Could see my lone adversary up there in the high 30′s, conning like it didn’t matter – it didn’t, in my case – and bearing down on me with professional malice in his heart.
Got called out and flowed first north, then back to the west. The machine seemed reluctant to go subsonic, surfing a little on the shock wave before it finally re-attached itself to the delta wing. Flew two “precision” approaches back to the field with a trainee trying to grok my approach speed, and failing. Even the supervisor had a hard time getting in the loop. The second went much better for them.
A quick debrief, then back to the O’Club for a dose or two of remedial courage to replenish my waning stores. Met a nice young man there who is an occasional reader, and we talked of divers things. It was 28 degrees outside, according to the rental car’s reckoning.
Pretty busy over the next cuppla. We’ll chat more when there’s time.