Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Flying above the specs of light

I looked out the window as we descended towards Gatwick. A truly beautiful sight stretched out before me. It was a really clear, cloudness night; scattered pinpricks of amber light, patterns of street lights twisting across the ground below.

As we flew past the airport to make our approach from the south, to one side, I could track the flashing red lights of a plane that was about to collide with the ground and land at Gatwick. Behind it, two other sets of flashing red were gliding down the same direction.

Other red and white moving dots just visible in the distance, flying in at higher altitudes to join the late night queue. A fascinating scene of movement in the air over the tranquil ground.

We banked sharply, doubling back on ourselves to fly down the virtual ramp to the runway. As we turned, looking back the next two planes could be seen spiralling in, following the same path.

Closer to the ground, car headlights moved around the streets below, the cars dark blobs behind the shining torch beams.

A thunk interrupted the peace as the undercarriage lowered. A sharp bing as the Exit signs lit up above the doors - just in case we'd need to find a way out in these last precarious moments of the journey.

Down low, over the busy motorway, and we skimmed over the vast car parks. Car roofs shimmered as the light reflected.

Then the rumble and skake and lurch as the wheel's touched down as we career down the runway, before pulling off at speed to the right to meander to the South Terminal.

We landed half an hour early ... with time to pick up a train ticket for the morning, and catch the Transit across to the North Terminal and a comfy bed for the night.


John Self said...

Heh - I thought something dramatic was going to happen for a minute there! Martin Amis, a nervous flyer at the best of time, in his book Visiting Mrs Nabokov, writes of his experience of a crash landing in a small plane. Reading the local newspaper the next day, he scans the report and "was amazed that there was no mention of the quiet heroism with which I had borne the ordeal."

Alan in Belfast said...

What I should have added to the post (might update it later) was that the view out of the window was so beautiful.

I'm not normally impressed with nature, but I was really taken by the dark ground and the bright lights shining up.

A nice end to a long day.