Dawn flight experience

Just a quick note for anyone flying at dawn. I’ve discovered something quite special.

You will need: A flight at dawn (I used FA128 CPT-JNB, but any early morning flight will work) and Ólafur Arnalds Island Songs album.

What to do: If, when you see that beautiful peach gradient beginning in the distance; that radiant glow stretching up from the horizon prior to sunrise, you switch on Ólafur Arnalds Island Songs album, you can enjoy a magical moment as the sun gently rises into view like some resplendent Nadorcott, accompanied by the mystical sounds of Ólafur and the Icelandic Chamber Orchestra.

It’s really quite something. I was lost in wonder for a few moments, and then when I glanced up again, sustained immediate and severe retinal damage. The sun comes up much more quickly than you might think, hey?

Maybe try to keep that fact in mind.

For me, flying – whether for business or pleasure – remains a special experience. This serendipitous discovery made this particular experience even better.



I caught the last half hour of the BBC series Planet Earth (amazing camerawork, breathtaking scenery, generally splendid) last night and now I want a Bobcat (Lynx rufus).
Much like my Mavic, they are accomplished flyers:

And you should know that hovering low over water is especially difficult due to the downward sensors sometimes becoming confused by the reflective surface beneath.

And thus, these things don’t always go to plan:

Actually, I think the faceplant makes it even more endearing, don’t you think? There’s a certain honesty to admitting that you’ve messed up and briefly surrendering in defeat – “Ah. Crap.” – while you muster your energies for the next attempt.

I want a bobcat.

ALWAYS ask for a window seat

Really? Well, that’s the advice from 500px:

You should always, ALWAYS ask for a window seat. Forget the trouble of not being able to get up to go to the bathroom, or the inability to stretch your legs.

Their argument is that you might just catch something as good as the 35 photos they share in their post. And look, those photos are good:


ws2Pragtig. Mooi. But the fact remains that there are around 100,000 commercial flights each day, and the 500px collators have managed to gather just 35 examples of amazing window seat photography (and don’t get me wrong, they are amazing).

There’s a problem with this. I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations and assuming an average of 30 rows of seats per plane (seems reasonable, ne?), that’s 60 window seats per flight, meaning 6 million window seats per day. Even taking into account that not every flight will give the opportunity for amazing window seat photography (most routes bypass volcanoes altogether) and that not every amazing window seat photograph will be submitted to 500px, that’s not a great rate of return, is it? Because every window seat will definitely come with the trouble of not being able to get up to go to the bathroom, and the inability to stretch your legs.

So no, 500 px. I do appreciate the work of your contributors, but I’ll live the window seat dream vicariously through them while choosing to enjoy the (slightly) more comfortable leg room in my middle block aisle seat. (That’s a 6000 miles… tip right there.)