Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Day 15: Fort Stockton to Houston, Texas

The boring part: woke up, weather brief, took off and 2.5 hours later landed at Austin Texas International Airport. Gas was a killer at over $5 per gallon. Got a lesser quote earlier but went to the wrong fuel place. (Thought there was only one) Refueled, lunch, took off after being cut in line by airliners, kind of exciting it was to take off in between them, then was told to fly at 2,000 feet for what seemed like a long time to keep me clear of other aircraft traffic. Then on to Ellington field, the old air force base. I was cleared through class B airspace and landed at Ellington, and taxied to a parking spot.

The exciting part: ELLINGTON. On the ramp, the first planes I saw upon landing were about 20 T-38s, all lined up in their sleek rows looking like the incredible flying machines they are. It wasn't long before a few of them were in the pattern doing touch and goes, without even letting the nose wheel touch the ground. Amazing. I got lots of video shot, and I quite enjoyed having a T-38 in the same video frame as Mr. Fred. Then an F-16 falcon took off, did the normal climb out and then like a rocket shot straight up until it was out of sight. Fricken amazing. For security reasons I can't go any closer to the planes but I’m happy to have seen one up close at Roswell. For tonight, they have given me a sleep room, as for security reasons, they cannot allow me to sleep in the plane. So I get a room all to myself, with sheets and a comforter. There is also internet, conference rooms over looking the airport, a huge lounge with a big TV and they've given me the keys to the blue van - courtesy car.

Tomorrow I head to the space center and might even meet up with a astronaut that is the sister in law of a client of my aunt who is a horse veterinarian. Her bio I’ll put below. BIG THANKS TO LOL! I might just decide to take up residence in sleeping room #3. Zion. That’s it for now. So glad I have made it. Ellen, the astronaut, who I talked to on the telephone today said the visitor center is not much, but I’m very excited to check it out. Shortly to head back to the plane, to clean it up and then out into town in the blue van! Space pictures and jet pictures everywhere. I love it. Adios for now!
Ben

http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/baker-e.html

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