We often see other air traffic pass fairly close to our aircraft. Particularly in holding patterns, the other airplanes are just 1000 feet above and below us in the stack. If it’s something big like a 747, 1000 feet isn’t much. It also happens enroute sometimes, vertical separation at high altitude is now just 1000′ as well. With high accuracy navigation, sometimes do a head on pass with a closing speed of 1000 mph. It’s pretty spectacular sometimes.
St. Elmos Fire is a kind of glowing purple haze that forms over the airplane at night in highly charged clouds. It kind of arcs through the circuitry of the heated windshield. It looks kind of scary at first but it’s beautiful.When we land right into the sunrise or sunset, I’m often surprised by how hard it is to see outside the airplane. There are sunvisors that can be placed just about anywhere but they are not effective against direct sun right down the runway. It’s not dangerous or anything but it’s a challenge. Kind of like driving into the sun, it’s very difficult to see.A lot of things we see might seem scary at first but once you’ve seen them a few times, you realize the fear is just from it being unknown and there isn’t a safety problem.
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