Le Voyage dans la lune

There was a point in time when my boss told me that nothing good could come of refreshing Livejournal all day long.

He was officially wrong yesterday afternoon, when autonomic_pilot posted that he was taking a plane up to watch the lunar eclipse from 8,000 feet, and since he had three empty seats, the first three people to speak up got them.

Three thoughts shot through my brain in rapid succession:

1. If I want to do this, I have to respond NOW. Ok! 2. I will have to leave work early. Fine by me! 3. Wait, I have dance class tonight! WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY BRAIN? FUCK DANCE CLASS.

I was one of the lucky three, the trio rounded out by la_roja and aelius27, whom you’ll recall graciously hosted Adventures in Science! Part One: Owl Vomit.

After practically floating out of work, I made a pit stop at David’s Bridal to maybe find something to wear to Kayleigh’s last-minute Prom Party this weekend, and after getting frustrated at incorrect sizing and hot layers of tulle, I have decided that my goddamn animal friends had better kick it up a notch and make something for me.

After all of THAT, I met everyone at Wings Aloft, where we prepared to sacrifice babies to convince an angered God to give back the moon.




Frankly, I was a little concerned about all of us being able to fit inside. But I’m not the pilot here, so…oh, wait!

2281410643_9d5aff86c7 2281410647_2cefddaecc


Our fearless pilot.



As the one with the fancy-pants camera that I didn’t quite know how to use, I got to be the co-pilot. Er, ride shotgun. Er, sit in the front and pray I wouldn’t break anything.

2281417623_a24b3435af     2282207438_46cb28e20c





This was the emergency handle, which, when pulled, launches out a rocket/parachute 1-2 punch combo that destroys the plane but saves the passengers. autonomic_pilot said that since its inception, it’s been used 13 times and is credited with saving 31 lives, which is pretty goddamn awesome.


Hey, look, it’s the world’s blurriest sunset over mountaintops! Gosh, wouldn’t that be nice if it were in focus? …I’m ShakyHands McGee.


This is the point where, in accordance with the wishes of our TRULY fearless pilot, who perhaps didn’t know that the first week I had my driver’s license I totaled my car in an act of sheer Stupidity that is yet unrivaled, I took control of the plane. The expression on my face is equal parts ecstatic and terrified that I would kill us all. Doing something stupid that kills myself? Eh, we all have to go sometime. Taking others with me? Not so much!

Note: Although I didn’t make any seatbelt announcements, I was indeed in full control as autonomic_pilot had to use both hands to operate my camera. Or at least, I was granted the illusion of complete control, as it has become clear to me that John can actually control the plane via The Force.

2282211520_2fb6b84d0e The sky reflecting off of my glasses means I’m deadly serious like THE ICEMAN, bitches!

2282211524_72c3a335c4 This is what terror looks like when Mellzah’s got control.

The eclipse and night sky itself was, in a word, breathtaking. There are moments in my life when I’m overwhelmed by beauty, when my heart swells from the joy of it, and I almost feel it will engulf me. This was one of those moments. It was so incredible, and I wish that I could’ve captured even a fraction of that feeling with my camera.













When I dated Alex, who was a pilot, he said that people often ask how planes know where they’re going without roads, and the joke-y pilot answer is to point out at the wings and say all they do is fly between the lights. This picture has nothing to do with the wings of the plane, but it makes me think of that nonetheless.


la_roja taking a spin in the mini-plane.


No, you’re breaking it! I AM NOT!


Putting the plane back into the garage. There was a gap of MAYBE a foot on either side of the plane, which I would imagine is terrifying every time you put it in the garage–there’s not exactly room for error. Then again, there isn’t a crapton of room for error when your safety blanket is a rocket parachute, so maybe terror is something he’s used to by now.

This was an amazing, amazing experience. I really can’t give enough thanks–words seem insufficient and hollow. Still: thank you, thank you, thank you. The trip might have ended last night, but I’m still walking on air.

38 Comments Le Voyage dans la lune

  1. motomotoyama February 21, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Wow, that is amazing!

    1. admin February 21, 2008 at 8:05 pm

      Where are your pictures from Mexico, woman??

      1. motomotoyama February 21, 2008 at 8:53 pm

        Hah. I didn’t take any. My friend did, though.

        1. admin February 21, 2008 at 8:58 pm

          You mean on *your* relaxing vacation, you didn’t concern yourself with taking photos for *my* entertainment? HOW DARE YOU?

          (I just checked out her flickr–looks like you had a fab time!)

  2. strand February 21, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    So wait, did we get the moon back from the angry god?

    1. admin February 21, 2008 at 8:04 pm

      Until the next time he gets mad, anyway.

      Also, please to be keeping that on the DL. Apparently, the police are not taking kindly to my sacrificial offerings.

      1. strand February 21, 2008 at 8:08 pm

        The poh-poh frown on my mad ravings and ignore them. I think that’d cancel out me saying that you sacrificed small to medium sized animals.

  3. autonomic_pilot February 21, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    I see what you did there and should probably thank you. You blur out my face and only give shots of my ass otherwise. This should be helpful in my efforts to build a harem. Harems are allowed in your empire, right?

    Indeed you did have complete control as I was not even exercising my Force powers during the time you were at the helm. Good flying, Ice. You can be my wing man anytime.

    1. admin February 21, 2008 at 8:49 pm

      You were moving, my dear, and I felt that using the flash inside the plane was a SERIOUS no-no. I *did* want to take a picture of you squatting on the wing as you were when I first arrived with the whole black/white contrast and perfect natural light because ‘hellooooooo ladies!’, but I’m no good with the “HEY LET ME TAKE YOUR PICTURE RIGHT NOW” thing.

      Harems are allowed and welcomed in my empire, so long as you are careful to ensure they’re not part of some rebel uprising. I’d hate to have to slay your ladies.

      I’m like a remora–you’re not going to be able to get rid of me now!

      1. autonomic_pilot February 21, 2008 at 9:15 pm

        Good call on the no flash flash. I mean, I am strong with the Force and all, but it’s best not to tempt fate.

        As for the harem, their memories will be wiped each morning. This is for the best for many, many reasons. If you need to put a few down just so the rest know their place, I’ll understand.

        Oh, you know that part about getting accustomed to terror? I am. Imagine me trying to talk you through landing the plane without me touching the controls (and no Force). That was my last weekend. I like to use fear as an exercise for myself. Burns calories like a mofo.

        1. admin February 21, 2008 at 9:49 pm

          Wanton killings aren’t really part of my thing. I’ll do it if I have to, in order to maintain control, but killing for killing’s sake is SHIT for morale.

          Becoming accustomed to terror is a pretty impressive skill, and I tip my hat to you, sir! I myself have become accustomed to fury.

      2. assassinpandora February 21, 2008 at 9:24 pm

        “I *did* want to take a picture of you squatting on the wing as you were when I first arrived with the whole black/white contrast and perfect natural light because ‘hellooooooo ladies!'”

        Hellooooooo photoshoot!

        1. admin February 21, 2008 at 9:49 pm

          It was PERFECT. You should go take pictures and succeed where I have failed!

  4. oniaka February 21, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    Love the pics. saddened that I was not able to come out and play.

    On board our ship. We frequently had as little as only 2 inches from the wingtip of one aircraft, to the wingtip of another aircraft. And of course, we were moving F-14’s, and A-6’s and other such, $27,000,000 aircraft. Not to mention that the tow tractors pulling and pushing them had 2 pivot points which makes it EXTREMELY difficult to turn them the way you want them to go.

    I always considered myself very lucky, that I never pushed one into another one. Most of the time I ended up operating a “Huffer” which is a portable jet engine used to start up the jet engines on the aircraft. So, I rarely ever had to worry bout crashing an aircraft into another one.

    I was lucky to get to fly with a couple of years ago. I really enjoyed the experiance, and hope to fly with him again.

    1. admin February 21, 2008 at 9:44 pm

      So you were on an aircraft carrier? How long? Please assume that I have asked you a bunch more nosy questions and answer them all in detail.

      A distant relative took me onto the USS Abraham Lincoln when it was stationed in Coronado–it was a really awesome experience and I’m sad (though I understand why) I wasn’t allowed to take photographs.

      1. oniaka February 22, 2008 at 12:38 am

        Yes, I was on the USS John F. Kennedy CV-67 for 2 years. I was docked next to the USS Abe Lincoln just before it was commissioned. I have not seen it since though.

        I have some pics of the JFK somewhere… Oh, here are a couple…


        A bit of a view of the Island on the Flight deck.


        An F-18 Hornet in the hanger bay.

        I have more pictures, but they are hard copies. At some point I should try to get them onto my computer.

        1. admin February 22, 2008 at 5:46 am

          Thank you so much for sharing! If you get around to scanning those photographs, I’d love to see them. 🙂

          1. oniaka February 22, 2008 at 7:20 am

            I shall try to find them.

          2. maps_or_guitars February 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm

            I’d love to see those pics, too.

  5. Anonymous February 22, 2008 at 12:47 am

    Plane Flight

    Great Pictures. Hopefully during the flight John didn’t suddenly drop the plane 100ft straight down. I got that experience while flying over Lake Superior with him and a few friends. Years later I’m still trying to massage out the fingernail gouges, in my knee, from another passenger in the plane. And gee, John wearing Black. What a novel concept, I always thought it was funny watching him squirm, when he had to where a white shirt.

    1. admin February 22, 2008 at 4:55 pm

      Re: Plane Flight

      No, he didn’t, though I think it would’ve been particularly diabolical/hilarious.

      “And gee, John wearing Black. What a novel concept, I always thought it was funny watching him squirm, when he had to where a white shirt.”

      THAT is adorable. 😀

      1. autonomic_pilot February 22, 2008 at 8:48 pm

        Re: Plane Flight

        I thought about it, but then I figured I should keep you guys interested in coming back for more. We can do all kinds of fun stuff (the quick banking we did over Elliot Bay got nothin on it).

        1. admin February 22, 2008 at 9:45 pm

          Re: Plane Flight

          I don’t believe my interest is in question. 😀

    2. autonomic_pilot February 22, 2008 at 8:47 pm

      Re: Plane Flight

      I thought you liked that kind of thing? Besides, I distinctly recall somebody saying “Do something interesting”.

      It was only 100 feet! We were all the way up at 2,000. Surely just a minor pocket of adventure in an otherwise serene flight.

      I’m getting more accustomed to wearing white now. I even have a few gray ones.

  6. kindofstrange February 22, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Freakish levels of jealous!

    I’m pre-booking a spot on the next eclipse plane. Don’t care how far out that may be. 🙂

    1. admin February 22, 2008 at 4:56 pm

      Mark it on your 2010 calendar. 🙂

  7. kindofstrange February 22, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Reminds me, I need to set up Adventures in Science: Part Two!

    1. admin February 22, 2008 at 4:57 pm

      I heard you had to move back Adventures in Science: Part Two to April–confirm/deny? If that’s the case, I’m considering setting up Adventures in Science: Part 1.5: THE SOMETHING in my apartment in March. Science labs are extra special in Kent. Perhaps we could all learn how to make meth!

  8. dslartoo February 22, 2008 at 4:08 am

    Lucky you. The fucking cloudcover here in Atlanta kept me from seeing a damn thing. Nice pics!


    1. admin February 22, 2008 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks Phil! 🙂

  9. damienwolfe February 22, 2008 at 5:16 am

    That is so awesome. It reminds me that I still very much want to learn how to fly. 🙂

    1. admin February 22, 2008 at 4:59 pm

      Perhaps you could set up a business and perform in-flight mortuary services. 😀

      1. damienwolfe February 22, 2008 at 11:38 pm

        That would be so choice. Definitely would have a special niche there. 😀

  10. yimmy149 February 22, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    That’s a sweet plane! Considering the high percentage of my waking hours devoted to flight simulator, I’m jealous. 🙂

    1. admin February 22, 2008 at 6:26 pm

      It was a freaking sweet plane!

      I didn’t know you were into flight sims–which ones do you play?

      1. yimmy149 February 22, 2008 at 6:32 pm

        Right now just the std Microsoft Flight Simulator X. I had taken a year long break from simming because “X” required more computer and graphics card than I had at the time, but I started up a couple weeks ago.

        1. autonomic_pilot February 22, 2008 at 8:53 pm

          Eaglesoft makes a good Cirrus add on for flight simulator if you’re looking for a way to play with one of those you see in the pics. X-Plane is also a good sim, we use the commercial version in our full motion sim down in Vegas and over in Indy.

          1. yimmy149 February 22, 2008 at 9:08 pm

            Thanks, I’ll check that out. May have to wait a while, I just bought a Piper Cheyenne add-on and ordered a throttle quadrant. 🙂

Comments are closed.