Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Morning person

When you get into the discussion about what time of the day you prefer I think I just might have to print this picture out and show the person I am talking with here's why :) We are climbing out over Tampa as many people are still sound asleep in their beds and the peacefulness in the air, the radio and the sky is so...good ! Usually departing Florida is vector after vector after level off after level off. ATC is always busy working a ton of aircraft over the narrow state through arrival and departure corridors. It is kind of nice to flight plan to Florida because if you are heading into the east coast you file to Craig (Jacksonville) and then Ormond Beach...etc. If your going to the west side file to Valdosta, Georgia and join up with a STAR for Tampa, Sarasota. Leaving the state from the south you file up through Orlando to Craig, or the west side you go up towards Taylor VOR.

On this mornings flight we got heading 350 (parallels the shore line and keeps you out of the departure and arrivals in Tampa) and then shortly after leveling we got direct Taylor flight planned route. Back to the beginning of the post....needless to say I am a morning person :)

Somewhere over Georgia we cross path's with a fellow Canuck. It is a Skyservice 757 at FL350 heading somewhere in Florida and I think his call sign was SkyTours. About 5 minutes later an Air Transat A310 passed us only at FL300 and was heading into Florida. It is hard to see their colours from far away but zooming in with the camera gains me enough of a colour scheme I can see who it is. This picture here is the best turn out of an air to air I have had yet. I thought it would come out all shaky cause my hand slipped but I actually think it slipped in the same direction to get a fairly clear image at maximum zoom. Still can't wait to get a SLR !

I know, I know...enough with the sunrise/sunset pictures. This one was cool though because I snapped it just as it broke through the thin layer of clouds and about 1 minute later was completely full. Just goes to show timing is everything. I took a video after this shot to document how fast it came up and will maybe post it on youtube. It isn't really amazing but when you have a surface to compare how much the sun has moved it shows how fast the earth is turning.

Speaking of filing flight plans, this is just west of New York City and the morning rush has begun. Florida maybe the easiest place to figure out for filing to and from but New York and Washington DC take the cake for the most screwed up routes ever. From Montreal to Sarasota the route above FL220 would take me to Carmel (east of NYC) and then west and then south...so to avoid this I filed over to Syracuse New York and then directly to Craig in Florida to avoid the area all together. I once had to go to Richmond, VA, I was re-routed 3 times and by the end with only 45 minutes of flying left I had 18 waypoints in the GPS. I can fly from Calgary to Toronto with 2 !

I thought with flying super early with no traffic I would not get restrictions like I did going into Florida. 13,000 feet from 26,000 80 miles away, not another airplane around for miles. SOP's are SOP's I guess.

This shot turned out well (as far as I am concerned anyways). We were somewhere over Pennsylvania/New York area and were right under the flood of westbound traffic. There was a shadow on the ground from a contrail overhead and it was the only one dense enough I guess to create a shadow. About 30 minutes prior to this we got passed by 2 F-16's heading the opposite direction. They must have been near the speed of sound because on the TCAS I have never seen an airplane move across that quickly. They were within 7 miles and only 1000 feet above us I couldn't spot them to save my life, I wanted to get a picture so badly but no joy. So here is a picture of a contrail shadow instead :)

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