So the plane I fly most of the time is what’s known in the aviation world as, um, “slow”. Lightweight, responsive as fighter jet, plenty of cargo room, but slow. 110 knots (~125mph) is about the top speed you can run it at for a long trip. Still, since you don’t have to follow roads, you can get somewhere in about 1/2 the time as you would in a car. Which is nice.
However, 110 airspeed could mean a lot of things in terms of ground speed. With a strong enough headwind, you can even fly backwards!
In this picture, look in the blue circle to determine the direction the plane is facing, which says 313. That’s north-ish. (0 = North, 90 = East, 180 = South, 270 = West, 360 = North again). This is a magnetic compass.
In the red circle, there is the GPS track. This is the direction that the GPS is tracking the plane. It clearly has a southerly route at a leisurely 5 knots. While the plane is flying forward through the air, the air is fast enough that I am actually flying backwards over the ground.
Anyway, the fastest submitted ground speed (at http://GroundSpeedRecords.com) for this particular type of plane was 155 knots. We went up today to beat that record.
Here’s a shot of us at 161 knots over the ground. We were cruising along at about 115 knots through the air.
Who was I flying with? Well my flight instructor! Someone had to hold the controls while I took pictures!
This is what the clouds looked like:
And finally a cool shot where you can see the snow path. In the foreground are all the farms with natural colors, then a snow storm path with snow over the fields, and in the background, you can see the natural colors again!