Old stories of flying sometimes touched on the heartwarming sight of lights burning to guide pilots home at night. With considerable skill and a good helping of luck, they’d navigate rickety and unreliable biplanes across empty darkness for hours. Literally kept alive as night descended by brief glimpses at compass and chart by a tiny red light kept dim to preserve night vision, and self-checking constantly without allowing fear of being lost as night crept in.
So very different for us winging home in Trusty Tripp from San Diego across the LA basin tonight, with familiar lights and myriad crowded freeways to guide us safely on past enchanted cloudscapes. Not to mention radio naviation aids those early pilots could only dream of. But even those are now far obsolete as we enjoy the latest GPS devices that turn night to day, in terms of knowing exactly where we are. So we have plenty of relaxed time to enjoy the sights, as Hwy.1 to Malibu slips twinkling past.
After the last light fades, we’re treated to the lights of home as we look across downtown Santa Barbara with the colors of business accented here and there by especially bright seasonal home lights.
But even without mentally traveling back a century to an open cockpit over a lonely black expanse, lining up to land at SBA brings a warm rush of comfort with her home lights burning brightly.