Flying commercially is not as bad as I remember it. But I’m still disappointed not to have used Air Frank for a recent trip.

Your correspondent travelled to the Silcon Valley area, on an Air Canada Airbus 320. The rudder did not fall off in flight, thanks for asking.

Having remembered to completely disarm myself before heading into the terminal, the security screenings are reasonably fast. Food is unsurprisingly expensive. The airplane is surprisingly full! My seat is of course by a window, about a meter behind the trailing edge of the wing. That wing … its span seems only three times larger than that of GXRP, yet carries thirty times the weight.

Something weird happened with wind or traffic at Pearson when we departed. Our gate is at the far south-east corner of the airport, from where we can see traffic using on 24L/24R, with quite a queue of jets waiting for departure. And yet ours taxies all the way to the northwest corner of the airport, and takes off in the opposite direction on runway 5, just after another airplane that departed head-on from the other end, on 23. The jet climbs very nicely eastward, then eventually turns around westward. The performance feels about as awesome as a high-performance climbout in GXRP.

In about half a hour, we are over Lake Huron, catching glimpes of the gorgeous beaches by Goderich. Another 45 minutes later, we fly over Chicago. I think I see what’s left of Meigs Field. Another half hour, and we’re over Iowa, where someday I hope to visit the Honecks’ Aviation Inn.

Over Iowa and then over Nebraska, the pilots route us around two huge isolated thunderstorm cells. The tops reach well above our cruising altitude. One can see the evil frothing within the thing from our 30-mile (?) distance. Nearby, scattered towering cumulus looking tall and thin, like vicious blades of grass, though the jet flew above these. Air Frank would have had to fly well away from the whole area.

Another hour, and we hit the Utah/Colorado/Nevada area. Here the land finally changes from flat to gently rippling, to outright roaring. The winds must rock down by the mountains today, for even at our 38000+-foot cruising altitude, we feel mountain turbulence effects. A few picture-perfect lens clouds are visible. But occasionally the sky clears below, letting me see the Rockies from well above. They look great from this angle too.

Finally, we cross the California border, and start the descent. The wing spoilers let us get down in a mere half hour, to a sky shared with many other airplanes coming and going. The extended final approach takes us close to San Jose International Airport, which is the place I likely would have parked GXRP at, if Air Frank was in service. The final approach track follows the San Francisco bay northwest to the airport, where the big jet makes a nice firm touchdown, preceded by a quite perceptible flare.

I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I did, but I guess any flying is still flying, even if I’m not at the controls.