"Sarah" is now in Saskatoon, Canada
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That AGIA meeting was awesome, “Sarah” said after meeting Laura at the General Aviation building in Edmonton City Centre Airport. “Glad that meeting went well. I knew it would! It’s a good thing we brought that Good Morning Alaska and some coffee filters along,” Laura said. “I’m all pre-flighted. You’re good to go?” “You betcha,” “Sarah” answered. The pair hopped in the plane, Laura did her usual safety briefing and got her clearance.
They took off on the same northwest runway they had arrived on the night before, then turned east and climbed to 11,000 feet. For this flight which was just about 2.5 hours, roughly half an hour was in clouds, the remainder was good visibility between cloud layers. The terrain was mostly forested flat land, as it had been since the segment halfway between Watson Lake and High Level.
Airborne Science Lessons
A purple hint could be seen in the northern sky. “Sarah” felt sad that there was no more midnight sun. Laura said, “You know in Wasilla, the sun sets at 11:18 “today” (July 16 when this segment was flown). Wasilla is 61 degrees north latitude. In Saskatoon, the sun sets at 9:18 today. Saskatoon is 52 degrees north. In New York City, the sun sets at 8:24 today. New York is 41 degrees north.”
“Sarah” immediately could see that the nine-degree difference in latitude between Wasilla and Saskatoon resulted in a two-hour change, but the 11-degree latitude change between Saskatoon and New York resulted in less than an hour’s difference. “Things get really interesting once you start going above 50 north,” Laura said.
“What about 50 south?”, “Sarah” asked. “Same thing, except the seasons are reversed. It’s winter down there now. The Big Dipper and North Star are not entirely visible in much of the southern hemisphere, but they have a close equivalent – the Southern Cross. It points to True South just as the Big Dipper points to True North.”
“Ponder this one “Sarah”: when you look at the sun, you’re looking eight minutes into the past. The light from the sun takes eight minutes to get here,” Laura said. If Edmonton was the faith-based flight, Saskatoon was the science lesson for both "Sarah" and Laura. They spent much of the journey talking about science, geography and micro-evolution. Laura was astonished at how much “Sarah” knew.
Descent to Saskatoon
And so it went, until the controller instructed Laura to descend to 3600 feet and gave her an instrument approach to the east-facing runway, which she appreciated, even though the conditions technically did not require it.
Saskatoon's east-facing runway beckoned...
...and the landing went well. Laura coupled the approach to the autopilot until decision height as usual.
Saskatoon is a significant stop, because it marks the halfway point between Wasilla and Reagan National in Washington DC. The flight placed “Sarah” 1,673 nautical miles from Wasilla and 1671 from DC. She has already crossed three time zones. The next and final stop in Canada would be Winnipeg, a nearly 400-mile flight that will take over four hours in a Cessna 172. In Winnipeg, "Sarah" would speak at a North American trade conference.
If you enjoyed this journey, please sponsor it by
donating to the Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund
Last year, the Alaska Fund Trust was established to raise money to defend Gov. Palin against frivolous ethics complaints and lawsuits that were filed against her in a coordinated effort to drive her out of office. On June 24, 2010, the Alaska Fund Trust was replaced by Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund. Those of you who donated to the Alaska Fund Trust will be receiving refunds within 90 days from June 24. You will have the option to re-donate these funds to the new Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund, which is the official, and legitimate fund now in existence. Please re-donate those funds to the Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund.