No Ordinary Redeye

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[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.

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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.

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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.*

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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.

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