The Dichotomy of Flight

I have written of the dichotomy of flight in my novels; in a single day, even a single flight all can and will change. It is the very nature of flight. In a wisp of time things can change dramatically: combat, aircraft integrity, weather. Weather is an entity dealt with every day, on every flight. Indeed an entity, because it is very much alive and a force of its own.

I just returned from a trip where it was revealed to me yet again. We slipped from the stable air mass covering Seattle at dawn; gliding past Mount Rainier on a calm cushion of stillness. The serenity of a new day unfolded as we cleared the cloud cover and climbed to altitude.

By nights end the dichotomy fully lay bare. Lightning in all quadrants, as we fought our way through thunderstorms on violent canticles of air. Vicious up drafts pummeled our aircraft while we descended into the storm covered mountains surrounding Monterrey Mexico.

We came full circle as we emerged from the line of weather; born again into the gentle arms of clear smooth air. Below us the lights of the city were juxtaposed against the dark shapes of mountains, as we descended below their tops. Encircled by their granite teeth we gently touched down on the asphalt runway; another duplicitous day complete.

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