Something cool, planes & thunder storms

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dr wogz

Fly caster
Feb 5, 2009
Reaction score
Land of Poutine!
I saw something the other night I thought was cool, and I had to share.

Montreal (Quebec, Canada) gets hot & muggy in the summer. Some much so that afternoon & evening thunderstorms are not uncommon. Almost daily in fact! The other day was no exception. And the thunderstorm watches & warnings were all over the news this particular evening.

A bit of background. I live not too far from Montreal’s major airport. I’m somewhat in-between the two flight paths for the two major runways (about 30°) apart. SO, I see airplanes land & takeoff. And being where I am, they are never over my house. Or, I should say, rarely, very rarely.

This particular night, around 8:30pm, I was out walking the dog. It’s late dusk, and I can see two massive clouds above me, with a pretty narrow, but deep channel between them. Sure enough, one pilot had the chance to use this channel as his approach / descent for final, although this channel is running perpendicular to one runway, and about 60° to the other main one. So, not a straight flight in, but one that’ll require a loop-de-loop at the end to be lined up on final approach.

Sure enough, as he passed over, and was almost out of sight, I can just hear the rumble of a larger commercial plane taking off. (and I’m sure there were a few behind him waiting for their chance..) I can see the 787 / 777 / A330 type plane climbing thru the trees. Once he had about 2-3k feet, he started a hard right turn, aiming for the channel between the clouds. Not at full throttle, but enough for him to gain altitude and make his tight turn. He made his turn and is just about above me, I can picture the pilot saying to his No. 2: “Punch it!!” As soon as his wings were level, and while climbing, I heard the engines spool up, and watched him power up thru the channel between the clouds. His light got smaller, and the engine noise died down. That was soo cool, I thought.. a controlled, light ascent, a tight turn, and full power to get out of the thick as soon as possible!

And again, thinking to myself, the conversation the pilot had: “Good evening ladies & gentlemen, our flight is slightly delayed due to weather, but we have the go for take-off. It’ll be a bit of a bumpy ascent, so please remain seated. Enjoy the flight.” And then to his No. 2: “OK, take off, and at 2k, roll 60° right to 3k, then punch it to 20k!! Ready? brakes off, throttle up, let’s roll!!!”