Sunday, November 28, 2004

South Haven Sunset

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
28 Nov 2004 N21481 LWA (South Haven, MI) - Local 1.0 274.9

An evening flight after work.

A ragged layer of clouds had formed over South Haven near the Lake Michigan shoreline and I climbed above them to practice some air work (steep turns, etc).

Warrior 481 and I cruised along the shoreline, stretching our wings.

Turning directly into the sun, human eye and camera CCD both saturated, rendering the view in sepia.

As the sun settled closer to the horizon, a magical angle was reached at which the clouds radiated golden sunlight.

As the sun continued its downward trajectory in the heavens, I maneuvered Warrior 481 for a dusk landing at South Haven.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Evening Over South Haven

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
22 Nov 2004 N21481 0D1 (South Haven, MI) - C91 (Dowagiac, MI) - 0D1 2.0 273.9

It was a calm evening in west Michigan.  Warrior 481 and I flew over to Dowagiac for some pattern work where I first soloed in a Cessna 150 three years previous.

When I returned to South Haven, an interesting confluence of cloud formations had formed over the Lake Michigan shoreline.  There was a high broken layer at 10,000 feet and a haze layer from ground level up to 3500 feet.  At the top of haze layer, a single cloud floated like an island in the haze.  The red spot near the center of frame is the evening sun reflecting off of the surface of Lake Michigan.

Rays of sunlight penetrated the high broken layer, creating an impressive sunbeam effect in the haze.  Beneath the sea of haze, the surface of Lake Michigan brightly reflects those few sunbeams directed earthward.  By now, Dave was in the air with the Decathlon (far right edge of the frame) and wanted to join up for some formation flight.

After Dave broke off and returned to the airport, I climbed around the edge of the cloud deck to 10,500'.  It was the highest I had ever flown an airplane.  I watched the sun set beneath the false horizon of the deck before spiraling back down to Earth.