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IFR & ATC | Glide Path  
1. September 2020 21:11 Uhr: Von Manfred Dotsch  Bewertung: +1.00 [1]

He let his eyes wander over the instruments that crammed the cockpit, noting their readings and interpreting them as far as possible. It all looked very complicated at first sight, but he knew from his own experience how swiftly one learned to understand—if not to master—even the most elaborate pieces of technical equipment. The swift and total transformation took him completely by surprise. One moment they were plowing through the gloom and drizzle of a November fog; seconds later, with the briefest of warnings, they had broken through into blazing sunlight. Above was the clean and glorious blue of the unsullied heavens—below, a dazzling, rolling sea of snow, so brilliant that it hurt the eye. Was that the murky, cheerless pea soup through which they had just climbed? It was unbelievable; down there lay England—indeed, the whole northern hemisphere—already stiffening in the grip of winter. And here, scarcely a mile away, it was still summer. When Alan held his hands in the light streaming through the windows, he could feel the fierce kiss of the sun. It seemed years since he had last known its benediction. He let his eyes roam in grateful wonder over this blazing world, so firm and solid in appearance despite the fact that it was no more substantial than sunlight and water vapor. These hills and valleys, which changed their shapes even as he watched, were grander and more magnificent than any he had ever seen on the world below. Could even the Himalayas, he wondered, be more awe-inspiring than these mountains that marched across the English countryside? It was true that they endured for minutes only, before the winds dispersed and remolded them. Yet even the Himalayas had been born but yesterday, as the earth measured its life span; rock and cloud were equally ephemeral beneath the cold light of eternity. These thoughts were altogether untypical of Alan, who had no time for what he considered highbrow philosophy. But the first impact of this resplendent world above the clouds was so over-whelming that for a moment he found himself, both physically and spiritually, in wholly unfamiliar realms. The magic slowly died. The mind cannot dwell on the heights forever, and there is nothing that it will not at last accept as commonplace. Within minutes, Alan was sparing only brief glances to the glory around him;

– from: Glide Path by Arthur C. Clarke


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