Sunday mixed a bit of everything in a single day. There was morning and night drama with the two home humans, and daytime delight with guns and airplanes and friends.

The excellent RA Centre in Ottawa hosted an IPSC match yesterday. While Juimiin and I competed at such a match a few years ago by taking the 3-hour drives to/from Ottawa, possession of C-GXRP and an instrument rating makes such day trips more practical and stimulating.

The weather was simply awful. A strong cold front was rushing through the area, with howling (>100 km/h) and turbulent winds at altitude, plenty of icy cloud and drenching rain. Very few little airplanes were flying there that day. Both landings were very challenging, but somehow I and two fellow flying humans made smooth touchdowns after all the ruckus. While nothing quite like Roy Batty’s I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe lines, we had our share of neat sights:

  • the mental images created by an Ottawa area air traffic controller upon arrival to his sector, describing the crappy weather there at the time, with an undertone of “are you sure you want to come here?”
  • gently landing at Ottawa on a water-covered runway, gently slipping and hydroplaning, while somehow staying on the centre line
  • watching big jets land and take off on the same runway: huge plumes of water foam trailed them
  • fifteen men of widely varying ages, shapes, and skills playing with handguns at the IPSC match; no lady competed in our time slot
  • the sudden clearing of Ottawa skies after the match, with the front well off to the East, leaving just patches of pickerel-coloured cloud masses
  • flying toward Toronto as the night fell, with the sunlight illuminating cloud layers above and below us
  • weirdly sloping cloud banks that produced illusions of banking
  • with night having arrived, our strobe lights showing flashes of flowing ice crystals we flew amongst, like hundreds of bright little bugs
  • glimpses of the Oshawa and Toronto area ground, when the clouds below started to part
  • the airplane instrument panel, shaking enough from the turbulence to make its visual scan barely possible
  • the clock, after figuring out that it took us almost twice as long to return than to get to Ottawa, because of winds
  • home sweet home