Glory Be

As Nell and I crossed the country (my thirty-third flight across in a little plane) we were very lucky with weather and spent almost no time ducking around thunderstorms, which was supremely fortunate for a summer flight.

On our evening descent into Cedar Rapids there were a few moisture-laden clouds still hanging around. With ADS-B and ATC watching me on radar, and with the evening hour dropping the little plane number to just us as far as I could see, we were a little relaxed about the cloud regulations. I will fly through something gauzy in that instance.

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The sun was setting behind us and as we approached the last filmy curtain of clouds we saw a rainbow target appear on its surface. I couldn’t remember the name of this phenomena, but later was able to recall enough to google it. It’s called a glory. People often capture them from their airliner seat like the one above.

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As we were marveling at the ring of rainbow colors we closed in on it and the magic of our angle of descent matching the angle of the sun meant that for a moment we saw our own silhouette in the center of the glory and then we zoomed through it, to the orange-cast of the sunset-lit city below us. It was an amazing moment.

About Colin Summers

I am an architect, programmer, private pilot, husband and father. A couple of those I am good at.
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