I had just arrived from a very short flight. Just 20 minutes between starting and turning off the engine. But after an intensive two weeks studying inside complex flight simulators, being taught by currently flying captains and first officers how much there is to know in the operation of complex jet planes, I really need these few minutes in the air. In the real air outside. I asked a friend to come together, but I was the pilot responsible for the flight.
So, not being a passenger in flight, and with the airplane just to close to the runway in the end of the day (therefore with the risk of meeting many other aircrafts running to land before the official sunset time), the attention was totally devoted objective issues. You just can’t spend too long admiring the colors from one horizon to another. You need to scan the sky around you trying to find that damn small airplane which is arriving without proper lights and communications. This day I found none of these.
Then comes the landing. That very intimate moment with the airplane. All at once everything must be coordinated together. The power setting, wings configuration, your position relative to the runway where you want to land, the rate of descent inside the air, which someplaces is moving up from thermals and just ahead is going down over a colder ground. A complex mixture of instinct and precise calculation.
And after that flight, after leaving the airplane, I look outside and see this beautiful sunset, waiting a few minutes more for my attention. And life feels just perfect.