Friday, 5 December 2008

Airports and airstrips.

In my dreams, I'm in a small 2 seater light aircraft when the pilot is unexpectedly incapacitated. (It was the salmon mousse) and I've somehow got to make the plane land on a runway.

Seems to me that it's a bit like driving a car. If you can't make it go, then it's pretty safe. If you can't make it stop, then you're up shit creek.

So anyway, if using the flight simulator on google earth is anything akin to doing it for real, then maybe I could get down without killing myself, at least some of the time.

Manchester Airport's quite a good place to start. I can then try to follow the lines from the terminal areas onto an actual runway and I get to run over other aeroplanes while I'm doing it. Yay!

So I can either try to land again at Manchester, or I can head out and try to land somewhere else, like Liverpool or Birmingam or something. Knowing some landmarks is really really useful. I know what Ellesmere Port looks like, and the pattern of oilseed rape fields flanking the canalised River Dee just north of Chester so I can come in from the West almost straight into Liverpool. Only altitude and speed to think about...
It's now called "John Lennon International Airport" and has "Above us only sky" as it's corporate slogan. How Lennon would feel about that were he still to be alive, I can only imagine. But then, if he'd still been alive, he probably wouldn't be the icon he is, and they'd have called it "Carla Lane International Airport" or something instead.

One of my first posts on this blog was about flying around an island. Now I've found another one on an island called Raivavae and it's lovely. Nice and easy to see. On a pacific atoll, marked onto huge concrete base. Turquise seas surrounded by a coral reef. Mmmmm. I've been taking off from there, and flying out to the reef, then turning around and trying to land back on the runway. I'm generally succeeding although it often takes a few aborted but non-crashy attempts before I finally get it on the ground. Not crashing is what I'm aiming for. Landing on the runway is a bonus. Landing on the runway, staying on the runway and stopping before the end of the runway is ideal. If you want to give Raivavae a go, start here! (turn left at the end!)

I think I'm improving. Even though I still crash sometimes, I'm starting to get a better understanding of how things feel. I could go on about how people learn etc. But I'm gonna go and fly around the island again instead.

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