Already impressed at 39,000 feet
Already impressed at 39,000 feet

Discovering the Sound of Silence at 39,000 Feet Above the Earth's Surface

There is nothing like the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.; after going there, it is impossible not to fall-in-love with flight and space - the sheer idea of it all, infinity-and-beyond, is as inspiring as it is ominous.
Visiting the Air & Space Museum was gracious and welcoming, compared to my first experience of actually being in-flight. My father is a small aircraft pilot. Part of the pilot's certification process is restart the airplane after turning-off the engine mid-flight -- a dangerous requirement for various reasons beyond the obvious beyond the obvious.
There's the "Suppose the engine really doesn't restart" problem but there's the issue of the monster the requirement creates after the engine does restart - The Invincible Pilot.
The Invincible Pilot is the pilot who, having survived certification testing, now feels or entitled to turn-off the engine while flying at 39,000 feet with unsuspecting passengers. Here's how the experience goes: After passing a cursory look at passengers who are already impressed, pilot states boldly: "And now we are turning off the engine."
Silence of debilitating shock fills the tiny cabin; but before you can eek out a gasp the click of the key triggers a deafening silence resulting from the absence of engines.
You haven't lived until you've experienced unexpected silence at 39,000 feet. There's a beauty to it-the kind you realize only after surviving it, a sound remembered more than an engine restart.
“Unforgettable sound of silence at 39,000 feet above Earth”
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