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America California Courage Culture Life Photography sleep Social The World Travel

Asleep At the Controls

Shafts of Light Near Las Vegas, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

My favorite part of flying is the takeoff, and it goes from that to the leveling out segment, and then the landing. I love to fly and am not nervous about it at all. But when I read this report of commercial pilots being sound asleep as they approached Denver in an Airbus jet, inwardly I yelped. What? How could this be?

A pair of commercial pilots fell asleep in the cockpit on their way to Denver in 2004 and sped toward the airport at twice the speed allowed, according to an anonymous report by the captain on a federal safety Web site.The unnamed pilot of the “red eye” flight said he woke up to frantic calls from air traffic controllers and landed without a problem.

(I snapped this picture recently on my return trip from Portland. I believe we were ready to land at Sacramento here.)

The ASRS self-reporting site reveals details of the harrowing near disaster.

A commercial pilot had recently switched schedules to flying three “red eyes” in a row between Denver and Baltimore with only one hour in between flights. On March 4, 2004, during the third late-night flight, the pilot and his first officer were approaching Denver in an A319 Airbus jet — about the size of a Boeing 737 — and they were fast asleep.

“LAST 45 MINS OF FLT I FELL ASLEEP AND SO DID THE FO,” or first officer, a one-paragraph report in a NASA-run public reporting system says.

“MISSED ALL CALLS FROM ATC (air-traffic controller),” the report continues, saying that the plane was supposed to be traveling at less than 290 mph, but they were moving at a clip of about 590 mph.

“I WOKE UP, WHY I DON’T KNOW, AND HEARD FRANTIC CALLS FROM ATC. … I ANSWERED ATC AND ABIDED BY ALL INSTRUCTIONS TO GET DOWN. WOKE FO UP,” the report says, adding that he then followed all the controller’s instructions, “AND LANDED WITH NO FURTHER INCIDENTS.”

Unbelievable, I say. Makes me slightly less confidence about boarding those beautiful birds and plunging into the sky.

(Approaching Las Vegas on Southwest Airlines plane.)

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My devotional blog is here.

Categories
America Flowers/Gardening Home Photography Social The World Travel Weather/Nature

What Portland Trees Wear in October

DSC_0075, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

When from the airport in Portland we advanced down this street, ready to turn at the corner where we would pull into the driveway of the King’s home, I was just about sick at my stomach. Why? Because of having to take so much luggage, I had decided not to take my camera, and when I saw the striking beauty of these trees…and I had no camera…a sickening knot of disappointment rose in my throat.

Then I remembered Mike was flying in the next day. Yes! I called Jerry and Mike in Arizona, and on Friday afternoon when we met, Mike pushed my camera case into my eager hands. It was early evening, though, and we had church in a short while, so it was Saturday morning before I took these pictures. I spent half an hour or so walking the streets around the home where Mike and I were guests.

Up this little hill was a grassy opening with walking trails, and hanging off the fence of one of the houses that backed up to that area was a trailing bush with these golden leaves. I traispsed around and a couple of joggers stopped and asked, “Are you taking pictures of birds?”

“No, of leaves,” I told them. They were so friendly, and told me of a place a half mile away where some bushes sported red berries. Sadly, though, I didn’t have time to hike over there.

 

A neighbor’s lawn was spread this way.

 

This scarlet tree is a flaming vision on the front lawn of the King residence.

From the Seattle Times

What causes lovely fall colors?

 

 

Q: What causes leaves to turn red and yellow in autumn?

A: Actually, the colors are always there. They’re just masked by the green chlorophyll in leaves, which is busy making food by photosynthesis while the sun shines.

Come autumn, shorter days and cooler temperatures cause trees to switch into energy-storage mode, at which point their leaves stop producing chlorophyll. For the few weeks before the leaves fall to the ground, they are colored only by their natural pigments. It’s these colors — red and purple anthocyanins, yellow and orange carotenoids — that make fall foliage in four-season climates so glorious.

Of course, some years the show is more dramatic than others. The best conditions for intense leaf color to develop are dry, sunny days followed by cool (but not freezing) nights.

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Categories
America Conferences/Seminars Photography Social Travel

Southwest Over Crater Lake

 

Southwest Over Crater Lake, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

After a great conference in Portland, Oregon, yesterday afternoon I boarded a Southwest plane heading to Las Vegas. Shortly after leaving the Portland airport, we passed over the incredibly beautiful Crater Lake.

Jerry picked me up in Las Vegas (the airport vans to Lake Havasu don’t run late in the day) and we arrived home around 9:00. By 9:30, I had unpacked, showered and fallen into bed…didn’t get up for 9 hours. Amazing.

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_________________________________________________________ My devotional blog is here.