John & Anne Wiley

2014/06/01

Alternates

Pilots think about Alternates, and visually I also enjoy alternates. Like taking a break from the intriguing formations of reddish rock on our 4C Adventure, to look at pix like this from our recent overnite trip to “shower” love on our recently-engaged niece in San Diego.

3608 Alternate

3608 Alternate

The lush blues and greens of coastal California near Laguna Niguel offer a welcome alternate scene. Aviation alternates include planning for extra airports along the route in case the need should arise, and even alternatives to airports in rare and extreme situations. “In a car you can just pull over,” people say. But pilots know that aircraft are designed and maintained to much higher standards making that a very rare need. Also that most planes glide quite well and most areas offer plenty of safe places to land other than airports. Most areas.

8599 No Airport

8599 No Airport

Beautiful as this area near Lake Powell is, it’s no airport. The day we took off from Page headed to Cortez, CO the idea was to fly past Monument Valley. Since we’d flown that basic route along the lake shore before, my hope was to find a different route farther South. Lest I worry the majority who harbor an unreasoned terror of flight, I hasten to add Fact #1: We detoured along the edge of this unwelcoming terrain.

8593 On Edge

8593 On Edge

As you can see, the inhospitable view toward the lake didn’t match what we were actually flying over. Fact #2: We adapted to the terrain, and climbed higher once we chose a safe route across it at a narrower point with plains on both sides. But along the way we quite enjoyed the variety of slot canyons, sandstone amphitheaters, shallow caves, open spaces, vegetation variations, and majestic buttes.

8630 Butte Beauty

8630 Butte Beauty

I’m learning to understand the unreasoned fear of flying, yet it’s still surprising to me that people will skydive out of a perfectly good airplane yet be afraid to even think about flying in it. 🙂

Fear is the little-death”     –Frank Herbert

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