The day previous I went into work and checked my log to see if any flights had been scheduled for me. Now usually it's just take this cargo over to this place, blah blah blah and boring boring boring. But not today.
I noticed on the log that I had a charter flight scheduled for the next day by a woman, Jet was her name....cept, she didn't want me during the day. She wanted me at night. An ariel tour of Greece...to be specific: the Parthenon.
Now the only reason this was odd is because I'm normally doing cargo runs, as I said before. So I checked a few other logs to see why I had gotten a charter tour and none of the other guys who normally do the tours got this one. Turns out, it was a special request.
She wanted my plane. Now, we all use the company planes here, but some of us also own private aircraft, as I do.
The MiG-31 Firefox. A Russian craft no longer used by the Russian Military is the only actual aircraft that I own. I hardly take it out because of it's power and other, governmental issues. But hey, if she wants me to fly her around some of the ruin's of ancient Greece, I have no problem with that. And she picked the night time as well. That really helps out a lot. The speeds on that plane can get me off a radar in no time, and with it's stealth capabilities, I could stay well below radar for the tour.
The citizens below were going to have some good UFO stories to tell the next day.
The next day I slept late to rest up for my early morning flight. I'd called Jet in the afternoon of the day before and asked if we could push back the flight time to 3am and she had no problem with it. She arrived at that hangar around 2am and we had some coffee and I went over a few rules of the cockpit with her. She's very well educated in aircraft in general and really didn't need much training or instruction. Pretty soon, it was flight time.
We climbed in and taxied out onto the runway. Keep in mind that the airfield I keep the Fox at isn't very busy at all. It's a private field, but they still have regulations. Over the radio I was identified as just a regular Cessna tour plane. It's good to have connections.
In no time we were ready for take off. I gently pushed the throttle and in just a few seconds we were at about 150mph. As soon as we were off the ground I began my turn. You see, the Parthenon is behind the airfield...but this was good. It would give us a chance to see the surrounding areas.
See that spec of land that looks like an island in the middle of the city. Well, it's not. It's all land there, but government restrictions prevent any structure from being built there. In the center....the "island", as it were, is the Parthenon.
I could really get my ass in a sling for this, but my buddy at the airfield is keeping an eye out on the radar and an ear out for any communications of a UFO.
After the first fly by, we turn around for another quick pass...and closer too.
Doesn't get much closer than that.
Afterwards, I decided to give her a surprise and take her about 20 to 30 thousand feet above it all.
Man, did she ever get a kick out of that.
By now it's nearly sunrise and looking in all directions when you are so high up, you can actually see both night and day in one vista. But to really experience that....you have to go about 100,000 feet up. To the point that the blue of the sky gets darker and darker and pretty soon, you can peek into outer space.
Did we do that?
You bet your life we did.
I pointed her straight up and gave her more throttle. After a certain height my instruments really go a little batty.
Now, while my altimeter says I am only about 23,500 feet up, I'm way over 100,000.
And here's why I know that...
Beautiful, isn't it?
It's about this time that she starts to stall out on me and we start falling back to Earth. Nothing out of control mind you, but to get that high and see that, well...you're going to stall. It's the only way to come out of a climb like that. And of course, climbing like that we also covered a few hundred miles of land and it's daylight as we start to come back down. By the time I have her back under control, I get the word from my buddy that we've been spotted. After I inform Jet of the news, she's with me on just getting out of the area. I get the Fox level, check the radar for anything around me, and hit the afterburners.
Doing this causes a few things to happen:
1. It's the equivalent of basically dumping my fuel tanks. Instead of pouring a drink out of a can, just cut the bottom of the can off and you can get a good idea of how fast I am losing fuel.
2. I usually end up in the middle of no where.
Welcome to the middle of no where....
The afterburners shut down automatically...and for no other reason than I am out of gas. Time to prepare for an emergency landing.
Taking her down into the cloud cover....
Landing gear down. Still coming in pretty fast...
Better level out a bit and prepare for a pretty hard landing. She's in a glide right now, but visibility being what it is, who knows how far I am from a house or some other building or even a major roadway.
Not as rough as I was expecting, but never fun to land on anything other than asphalt. I run the risk here of just losing all control...spinning and possibly flipping her.
Whew...pretty close, turns out I wasn't too far from a little two-lane road and some power lines. Once I had her parked, I got out and took this shot of Jet sitting in the cockpit.
Thanks for flying.
If anyone has any requests for flying, be it cargo, charters, whatever the case, just leave me a comment. Please be specific with what craft you'd like me to use and from where to where you'd like me to fly you.