Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON
You know my credo about always having a camera with arm's reach? Each flight I've taken on this trip, I've had the camera at my side. This shot was taken about ninety minutes before my Singapore Airlines flight landed in New Delhi a few hours ago. Look carefully at the leading edge of the wing, near past the engine nacelle - and you'll see a delicate reflection of the colours in the sky.
About fifteen minutes before I took this shot, I was gazing out over the wing. I suddenly spotted a little silvery-white object reflected on the surface of the wing, moving from left to right. Realising that the reflection could only be caused by something above us, I looked up. And there, maybe a thousand metres above us and travelling in the opposite direction was a mid-size jet, about the size of a Gulfstream.
You're thinking: did I get the picture? Er, no. Even though I had my camera with me, I had my meal on my tray and I didn't have time to get the camera out of the case, get the lens cover off and fire off a couple of frames. It would have been a really rare shot in wonderful light conditions, because the Gulfstream's silver fuselage was reflecting the light of the setting sun.
But when you figure the nitty-gritty, the combined speed of both flights would have been well in excess of a thousand kilometres an hour, so I had only a couple of seconds to juggle my meal tray, and extricate the camera and switch it on. Maybe I should have taken a circus performer's course in juggling. And perhaps majored in Contortionism 101 as well.
PS: I did chuckle at Terry Fletcher's footnote a few hours ago, saying that I'm like a whirlwind. He's probably right, but this is one whirlwind that gets a lot of fun out of life!