No, not flying while stoned.
I made a day trip to the lovely Rock Springs, Wyoming airport (RKS) today, to inspect a job site nearby. We lovingly refer to this location as ‘Rock Ridge‘ (“Somebody’s gotta go back and get a shit-load of dimes.”) We park at the FBO adjacent the main terminal. It’s a crappy little place, with broken down sofas, and no heat in the restrooms. Which is uncomfortable when the outside temperature is around 20 F. Although there is a large poster proclaiming free wifi, there is actually no wifi of any kind, and the place is so remote that you can’t get a cellular signal unless the wind is blowing the right way. And today, it was blowing 30 mph, but apparently in the wrong direction.
And they had no coffee. Our rental car was supposed to have been delivered to the FBO, but the girl at the Hertz hadn’t quite got around to it, so we waited for a bit (sans coffee) until she brought it over. Without the paperwork, so we had to cram into her car and go back to the main airport to sign the rental agreement. And guess what? This airport, which serves a couple of airlines, has NO COFFEE. No deli, snack bar, place to buy a bag of chips, and NO COFFEE.
It wouldn’t be so bad, except none of us drank anything before boarding for the three-hour flight in a plane without toilet facilities.
We went to our meeting, which was an hour’s drive away, had lunch…and coffee…did our inspection, and came back. On the return trip, we had a fantastic tailwind.
I took this picture of the plane’s board with my phone. I can six other people who can testify in a court of law that the ground speed was 641 mph.
I was traveling at 39,000 feet, at 641 mph. I’ve been higher in a plane, at 50,000, but I’ve never been going this fast. Also, the outside temperature was . Six inches away, thank goodness, but still… -80 F. I’m really bummed that the photo didn’t turn out well. However, the pilots were quite proud and several times told us to look at how fast we were going. Our normal speed is between 450 and 550, depending on winds.
For reference, I took the picture below two years ago, at over 40,000 feet. At that altitude, you can see approximately 8 degrees of the earth’s circle. Although people claim it’s an illusion, you CAN see the curvature of the earth, just barely.