Plane & Pilot

Intercepted By An F-16

As the F-16 crossed my flight path in a steep bank, I sensed the deadly honesty of its design, each angle and curve built for one purpose. This was a hunter. It seemed like a joke that such a machine could bear the same name—airplane—as the machine I was piloting: a 70-year-old Luscombe cruising at 95 miles per hour. Not only did these two machines share a name, in that haze and early- morning sunshine, they also shared the sky, a remarkably tranquil and empty sky for a sunny Friday in August. I shook my head, marveling at this singular privilege of being a pilot.

And yet, it did seem a little weird to be close to the jet. I

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