You never know where you’ll find a geocacher. Avid geocacher Lorrie LeBlanc (Lorriebird) was piloting an airliner over Florida just as the space shuttle Endeavour launched through the clouds this week. She snapped these pictures. Her pictures went viral, even posting on CNN.com. Here’s her story.
Lorriebird writes, “I was flying a route from Miami to Montreal on Monday, May 16th. I hadn’t paid much attention to the shuttle launch because I knew I would be working at the time and would miss it. We were cruising at 37,000 feet, and the chatter began on the Jacksonville radio frequency about the launch. Other aircraft started asking for permission to turn toward the launch, but they were denied.
“Then we received a message that the Endeavour was launching in one minute. I started looking at our position relative to the launch site and realized that we were VERY close at only about 40 nautical miles away. I told the Captain that I was flying with that we were the closest plane to this thing! I started looking for it and at that very moment the Endeavour punched up through the clouds in perfect position outside my window! The frequency erupted with questions….JAX center and other planes started asking us what we could see…but I was too busy taking photos to answer them! I mean, if I could have snapped my fingers to re-position our aircraft anywhere else, I wouldn’t have moved it! We absolutely lucked out and were in the right place at the perfect time.
“I cannot write what I was saying out loud at the time. But all the while I was shooting, I just kept thinking that we were watching history being made. I really cannot describe the feeling properly, because words like amazing and incredible truly don’t cut it for trying to describe that thrill. It took quite a while for the adrenaline rush to cut me some slack! The other pilot and I just looked at one another….did we REALLY just see that????”