On the short flight from Edmonton to Grand Prairie, other than the delay, the trip was fairly typical and mundane, at least as far as forty-five minute regional puddle-jumps go.
On the reverse flight home we apparently had something interesting happen.
I’ve done these short flights plenty of occasions previous, on this and similiar routes. Usually it goes something like this: wait hours in the airport, board the plane and wait some more, take off, have a very quick coffee, and finally land.
We were at about the coffee phase when the captain came over the intercom to do the standard greeting.
Now, I don’t know how fast a passenger airliner typically flies. And seeing as how I’m writing this from cell phone and don’t feel like looking it up, I’m going to say that cruising speed seems to me to be right around 500 – 600 mph — or so I remember from those in-flight digital maps they put up on the screen. That, according to my rough calcualtions, is about 800 – 900 kph.
The captain — or was it the co-pilot? — came over the intercom, his voice a little more upbeat than I would have expected. We had a 160 kph tail wind, he told us, and as a result we were going really, really fast. From his voice you could tell he was pumped. He continued, and had he been standing there looking at me I’m sure he would have been wearing one of those kids-at-christmastime grins as he announced our current cruising speed was 1037 kph.
I don’t know about you, but while I’ve certainly gone fast numerous times in my life, I don’t recall a time I’ve knowingly been going that close to mach one — a mere 200 kph or so faster. That was just really cool.