Learning Experiences

February 2009 Issue

What Are The Odds?

It was a good, late fall night for flying. Dark, but clear and crisp, with light winds. I was flogging a nearly new Skyhawk from the Washington, D.C., area along V222 down to Asheville, N.C., for a weekend in the mountains. The flight was smooth, so far, with the autopilot-less ‘hawk needing only a gentle nudge every now and then to maintain altitude and heading. So far, the needles told me I was keeping it right on the airway’s centerline. The cabin heater was keeping us warm, the engine was droning along and my passenger was sleeping. We had another hour or so before starting to let down from our cruising altitude of 8000 feet. There was plenty of gas and ATC wasn’t busy. The panel lights were turned way down. All was right with the world. As I neared the end of a very long airway leg terminating at Hickory, N.C., I could see the city’s lights ahead. I also could see one particular light, waving around—a searchlight. Some used car dealer having a sale, no doubt.

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