This week’s challenge: Whether your own or someone else’s, literal or figurative, take us on a photographic adventure.
Because I am a hopelessly literate thinker, no risk of a figurative adventure here.
Do you know the difference between the aviation terms “VFR” and “IFR”? Doesn’t everybody?
VFR= Visual Flight Rules. This is how most private pilots fly, never going on to earn their IFR designation. It means, basically, that you fly and navigate by looking out the window. VISUAL. You are not permitted to fly through clouds and must maintain sight of the horizon at all times.
IFR = Instrument Flight Rules. To earn this designation, a pilot literally flies under a hood unable to see anything except the instruments on the dashboard. Navigation and piloting occur using absolutely nothing except the instruments. My pilot, a really smart guy, said it was the hardest test he’s ever taken. Once earned, a pilot can fly through clouds and in heavy, low ceilings.
Any pilot would be screaming right now at my gross oversimplifications, but we get the drift, right?
The weather is the main reason we fly IFR. In July we had two big events coinciding over the Fourth: a family reunion and our 40th anniversary. The weather in Virginia was glorious, but forecasts warned us of big storms as we flew into New England. If my pilot were not IFR – rated, the flight would have to be canceled.
This is “One-Niner-Three-Three-Mike,” my favorite of the four planes in my husband’s flying club, “The Wingnuts.”
The James River in Richmond, VA as we headed north:
As we approached Maine, the weather got progressively worse. On-board radar is a beautiful thing. The blue/purple line is our flight path. Flying between two storms like this is called “threading the needle.”
This is where instrument training comes into play as cloud cover begins to block the horizon.
Ahhh, at last. Portland, Maine in sight:
Safely on the ground! Portland is my kind of town: coffee shops, book stores, rugged Yankee architecture, museums, the harbor, and, oh yes, lobster.