Create Your Own Sunsets

Use your airplane as a time machine.

Tip Sunset

Tip Sunset

Robert Goyer

As a pilot, you can experience many things that non-pilots can't. You can defy gravity and watch as the world below floats by like a movie. You can travel to faraway places and land in areas inaccessible by other means. But have you ever realized that you can use the airplane as a time machine? If you are flying a fast airplane you can travel through the time zones and land at a time before you even took off. And if you are just looking to poke some holes in the sky, one of the most spectacular experiences you can have in a powered machine is to create your own sunset. It is a special experience that is best enjoyed with a passenger.

Simply get into the airplane shortly before sunset and climb to a safe altitude. Make some nice smooth turns or just fly along until the sun slips below the horizon. Once it does, all you have to do is climb high enough that the glowing ball once again crests the surface of the earth. Then you can either wait until it disappears again or descend and make your own sunset. You can even create sunset after sunset by practicing Chandelles or Lazy Eights.

But here are some words of caution. Don't look straight at the sun as doing so can cause permanent damage to your eyes. And don't get too distracted by the spectacular view. Let your passenger enjoy most of the scenery while you focus on the most important tasks at hand: flying the airplane and looking for other airplanes in the sky.

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