Cellpic Sunday – Rainbow Circles

Somewhere over North Dakota.

Yesterday I attended a meeting in Bismarck. This trip, I was a passenger and I left the flying duties to Chad, a flight instructor and head of our flight standards department in North Dakota Civil Air Patrol. The sun was behind us, still low in the sky, when we departed Fargo early in the morning aboard a Cessna 182. Reflected on the clouds ahead of us, we saw a circular rainbow. Over my two decades of flying, I’ve seen a few circular rainbows reflected on clouds below us. We were on an instrument flight plan which allowed us to remain at our altitude and fly through any clouds that happened to rise above our flight level. As we approached one of these higher cloud layers, I saw something I’d never seen before. We could clearly see the shadow of our aircraft on the cloud directly in the center of the circle.

The closer we got to the vertical wall of the cloud bank, the larger our shadow became until a fleeting moment just past this point when we disappeared into the cloud. The rainbow circle didn’t change in size, only the shadow of the aircraft.

The first appearance of the rainbow circle was when the cloud deck was lower. The further west we flew, the higher the deck. We stayed at the same 6000 feet for the duration of this photo set. Though the circle in the photo appears vertical, it was reflecting on the horizontal layer of clouds below us. I increased the saturation of the image to more clearly show the rainbow circle in this shot. In “real life”, the circle was only slightly more intense than the surrounding cloud layer. The dark bands are artifacts created on the camera sensor by the spinning propeller. These images were captured on my Samsung S7 cell phone. The rule for Cellpic Sunday is simple, the image must be captured on a mobile device.

John Steiner

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Cellpic Sunday – 7 October 2018

 

Mandan, North Dakota.

A few weeks ago, our Civil Air Patrol members participated in a training session at the Mandan Airport. As it turned out, the weather wasn’t much good for flying and the cadets who were scheduled to get orientation rides were disappointed. Continue reading

New York – My First Visit to the State

Syracuse, New York.

I’ve been to many states, but before March 2018, a trip to Boston brought me to the only state on the east coast I’ve visited north of Washington DC. An opportunity to visit Syracuse New York for volunteer Civil Air Patrol (CAP) duties would be my ticket to visit a new (to me) state. The image above is one of my first views of the city of Syracuse while on landing approach to Syracuse Hancock Airport. In the United States, Aviation research is increasingly turning to unmanned aerial systems for flight assignments. Civil Air Patrol is helping in the transition as many current Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have limited visibility for their pilots on the ground. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 12 August 2018

Syracuse, New York.

This week’s Travel Tuesday post tells of an early spring trip to Syracuse-Hancock Airport in New York. It was my first trip to that state and the purpose for my trip is featured there. Today’s cell pic is a teaser. Both of these planes are Civil Air Patrol (CAP) aircraft. The gray Cessna on the right is a veteran and the reason for the color is described in that post. With that, I’ll leave you guessing. Continue reading

Fargo Airsho – Blue Angels In Flight

Fargo, North Dakota.

As an aviation enthusiast, I’ve always enjoyed the performances of our military flight demonstration teams. For many years, the Blue Angels have flown in Fargo at an event known as the Fargo Airsho (sic). The air show features many more performers than the Blue Angels, though. Between the jet powered biplane, the Army’s Golden Knights Parachute Team and many other acts, the show starts in the morning, but the Navy’s featured demonstration team doesn’t start until around 3 PM. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 1 July 2018

Albuquerque, New Mexico.

It was morning over the Rio Grande. The air was relatively still, though we couldn’t tell sailing above the terrain, the hot air balloon riding along with whatever wind pushed us along. One year ago today, our Albuquerque Steiner family reunion concluded its three-day celebration. When in the balloon capital of the world, it’s not a bad idea to get a bird’s eye view of the area. Regular readers may recall my collection of images from that experience. You will find it here. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge – Place in the World

Someone once said, “A mile of highway can take you a mile, but a mile of runway can take you anywhere.” It wasn’t until I was 48 years old when I discovered I had a place in the world, a place in the sky, actually. This week, Erica V. asks us to share our place in the world. She writes, “Where do you belong? In the hustle and bustle of a big city or amongst friendly faces in a small town? For this week’s challenge, show us your place in the world.” You can see her entire challenge post here. Continue reading