Thursday, February 24, 2005

11 Kilometres up

in my previous post I told the tale of returning to Phoenix tonight.

The journey from Dallas to El Paso took place mostly over cloud and I had a window seat. I saw, for the first time, a thunderstorm from above. It was awesomely beautiful. It took a moment or two to realise what I was seeing; it looked rather like a series of Hollywood explosions but the brevity of each flash of orange soon convinced me I was seeing lightning through cloud...

I have to admit I quite enjoy returning to Phoenix by night. I'm getting to the point where I know the layout of the city well enough (even if I don't know all the placenames yet) to know that there's the I-10, that's the SR143 that I drive to and from the office, there's the 101 East and that bendy road is either the I-17 or SR51 etc. Tonight our flight path took us past Scottsdale Airport which is tiny in comparison with Phoenix Sky Harbour. I doubt our plane could have landed there if they'd tried!

Driving home (on those infrequent occasions of late when I get to do it) from the office on the SR143 at about 5PM or a little later always provides me with a distraction. At that time of day flights land going east to west and, when I look to the right, I can usually see between 6 and 8 jets in their final approach. With that many flights landing pretty much simultaneously there's obviously a lot of juggling going on to vacate the runway for the next plane. It can be unnerving on taxi to the take off position to see a plane approaching just as the plane you're on does a turn and immediately accelerates. No, I don't know if that approaching plane lands on the runway we just used but it sure looks like it.

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