[Warning: This is an image-heavy post.]
It’s not often that I’m actually excited to wake up at 2:00 am to get on a plane. Last Friday
night morning was an exception, though, because this plane was a Cessna 172S — a more modern model than the 172N I train in — and our destination was 6,000 feet above Boston with a perfect view of the sunrise.
I was invited along by Michael and Sukrit, friends from MIT’s Flying Club. Since they’re both fully-certified pilots, I rode in the back seat manning the camera and assorted water bottles and bags — and, eventually, breakfast. Having the chance to sit back and take pictures of the city and the dawn was a really lovely change of pace.
We took off from Hanscom Field around 3:00 am, with enough time to do a few spins around the city before sunrise at 5:00 am. After seeing downtown, the major arteries of Boston, and the good old Institvte coruscant below us, we headed to the harbor to see the sun crest over the horizon.
After getting our fill of the incredible view (and watching from above as a FedEx jet landed!) we headed to Barnes Airport. The trip took us over a hydroelectric dam and the main reservoirs for the area, which were very cool to see. The low ridges around the airport gave us the first turbulence we’d had all day — up ‘til then, the ride had been smooth enough that I managed to drift off in the back seat.
We stopped to stretch our legs and decided to get breakfast at The Runway, the aptly-named runwayside restaurant at the airport. Since we wanted to get back to Boston before the skydiving jump zones went hot, we took breakfast to go and ate it in-flight: blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, and an egg-and-sausage sandwich. That sandwich was hands-down the best airplane food I’ve ever had, and possibly the best breakfast I’ve ever had.*
We returned to Boston early enough that I had time to take a nap before I went to the lab for the day — and if I drank a bit more coffee than usual that afternoon, well, I had just gotten in from an early-morning flight.
*The title was previously held by eggs Benedict with good friends in Melbourne…now it’s got competition.