March 19, 2005 05:13 PM PST
Earlier this month, I got to fly a friend's private plane around the San Juan Islands. I've never flown before, but subtract takeoff, landings, and any emergency situation, and it's pretty much like Crimson Skies. This little two seater is actually a kit and was built by the pilot, a retired commercial airline pilot. It's got two seats; front and back, both pitch, yaw and throttle controls. I think it goes about 130 mph, and can do rolls, loops, etc. I got to fly it from the back seat for 20 minutes between about 1000 feet and 3000 feet.
It was a clear, crisp spring day...
We took off from the Roche Harbor airstrip.
Zipped over San Juan Valley.
Did some wing-to-wings. (We're 90 degrees of horizonal here.)
We're in the middle of a full roll. You can see the camera reflected in the cockpit and no wings because we're upside-down at this point.
Coming out of the roll, we're a bit closer to Spieden island! Lost a couple hundred feet of elevation because we did more of a gradual spiral than a hard roll. (Apparently - I was just grabbing the seat bars and holding down the shutter on the camera!)
View up-island towards the Canadian Gulf Islands and beyond.
Back on the ground, a bald eagle flew overhead and I happened to catch a rainbow around the sun.