Sunday, March 25, 2012

Amidst the Clouds

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
26 Mar 2012 N21481 5G0 (LeRoy, NY) - Local Flight 1.3 1027.4

"Across the clouds I see my shadow fly..."
"Learning to Fly"
Pink Floyd


Onions have them, ogres have them, and so do clouds.

As a VFR-only private pilot, the interstitial spaces between cloud layers are places I do not often go.  Getting in and out while maintaining the proper distance from each layer of cotton candy mist can be non-trivial except under fortuitous conditions.  But conditions were just right today; layers riddled with holes, separated enough to maintain appropriate clearances, but close enough together to make it interesting.  And so, after some exercise in the pattern, I directed the Warrior into a misty realm above the airport.

My first time between layers was on a simulated instrument training flight in a Cessna 150 over a decade ago.  While I was blind to the world outside the airplane's window, Bill provided a series of vectors, then suggested I remove the foggles I was wearing.  The view outside was something exactly like this.  I was simultaneously awestruck and freaked-out.

We topped all the layers approximately one mile above the Earth and cast our glory upon their surfaces.

The one below is my favorite - the prismatic halo of the glory can just barely be perceived on a cloud that is just barely there.

In places, cloud streets hovered silently over the landscape like invading starships in a summer blockbuster.

The twisted appearance of some formations belied the quiescence of the evening air.

Eventually, we left the clouds behind and returned to Le Roy.

I tucked the Warrior back into her hangar bay as the setting sun cast a copper blush across the landscape.


  1. Always a great view between layers. Wait until you can climb through and pop out the top or ride along skimming the tops....its a great feeling.

    481 looks great, oh my kingdom for a hangar.

    1. Gary - after keeping a respectful distance from them for so long, it will feel awfully strange to just go boring through one on purpose!

      As for the hangar - I feel quite fortunate to live someplace where I can afford one. I have not priced them out in your neck of the woods, but I know the rental rates in north central Jersey were obscene.

  2. Beautiful photos. I don't encounter anything like this very often as VFR-only guy, either - but you sure can't beat the view. Nice little Shrek reference there, too! ;-)