Blue Skies

Posted on 09. Feb, 2007 by in Featured

I eased the engines up to take off power feeling the comfortable push of 40 thousand pounds of thrust. The acceleration was slow at first, then built exponentially. At 141 knots (160MPH) I gently lifted the nose wheels off of the runway, stabilized for a second, then coaxed the main gear off as well. Continuing to rotate the nose up it settled in at 15 degrees above the horizon. Passing 1000 feet I cut the climb rate in half and called for climb power to be set and the flaps to be raised. On the cold Feb day the MD-80 climbed out at 3000 feet per minute even with 100 passengers on board. We turned south east headed for the warmth of Florida, retracted the slats and accelerated to 250 knots for the rest of the climb. At 12,000 feet we entered the clouds and turned on the anti-ice. Rime ice built up quickly on the windscreen wiper. Passing 22,000 feet we burst out of the clouds into a crystal clear sky. The sunlit day had an intensity that demanded polarized shades, the white hot clouds below us reflected the suns energy.

So began another day in the front office. An office I have been fortunate enough to inhabit since 1982. Many different types, I have enjoyed them all. Not that I don’t miss the mighty F-4 Phantom II or the sporty A-4 Skyhawk, I do, I even miss night carrier landings in the EA-6B Prowler. OK maybe not the night traps; even with the fun machines in my past I still feel fortunate to fly for a living. I love to fly; even in the crazy post 9-11 days of the present. That’s why I write about flying, I want to share the experience. chip

No Responses to “Blue Skies”

  1. gman 4 April 2007 at 21:46 #

    did kieth richards really “throw-up” on your shoe tips when you went to check on his “unconcious state” in 1st ?

  2. gman 4 April 2007 at 21:50 #

    Do I officially belong to the “Mile High club” even if I was alone in the “occupied lavatory” during ” the induction ceremonies”?

  3. Chip 5 April 2007 at 09:35 #

    Hello Little Bro; In answer to your questions:
    1: I can neither confirm nor deny.
    2: NO; a solo effort does not count.

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