First born has recently returned from a trip with the Rangers* to Marlborough Massachusetts and locale. A child no longer.
Part geek, part concerned parent, part on-call taxi service I tracked the progress of her transatlantic flight as it made landfall heading to LHR.
(Several ways of doing this these days on the internets. I tend toward the easy to use – yet mind boggling – https://www.flightradar24.com/. Easy to use? Just search for the flight by it’s call-sign (VS12/VIR12E on this occasion) and watch it make progress. Mind boggling? You can lose hours just randomly tracking flights to/from obscure locations just by clicking on the iccle aircraft avatars. Also, zoom out: so very many planes. I’ve heard it said that at any one moment these days, there are over a million people airborne. What a time to be alive. (Yes, a great work avoidance device too. Also, have you seen – OMaG – https://www.vesselfinder.com/?! My day wasted, right there…))
First up, the trip involved a spot of NYC which is where we were (en famille) this time 12 months ago. Lovely for Josie to find her way around Manhattan without Mom & Pop weighing her down. Riding the Staten Island ferry, mooching around Central Park. Cool.
As their Dreamliner (Flight VS12) made it’s into British airspace I noticed it went plumb overhead Auntie Susan’s pad in Mumbles, Wales. A beautiful clear autumn morn, where the locals wondered what a giant white hand icon was doing hovering above them. (The bluey line across the image shows the aircraft routing.)
Then the flight made a direct run across Wiltshire. Where Josie was following on the screen map – they are very good on the 787 – and took a photo out of the biiig window purportedly of Marlborough. Can you see us waving back?
Meanwhile, yours truly was leaning out of the loft window taking a photo of her.
As the flight was transferred to the guidance of the LHR tower it’s routing took it over Surrey (ultimately taking a big u-turn over the City of Laaaandun for a Westerly final approach to Heathrow). I even took a wee screenshot and clumsily annotated it:
- the hospital Josie joined the human race in September 2001: Frimley Park maternity unit
- the house we lived in then: 1 Cromwell Road, Camberley
- the flight she was currently on October 2018.
17 years ago, carrying a bundle of joy from 1 to 2 I didn’t pause to think she’d be passing by the front door. Especially not at 10,000′ clocking 330knots.
Criss-crossing our paths we jolly well go.
*Rangers? Bigger, tougher, more angsty, less manageable Girl Guides.