Glimpse of Total Solar Eclipse at 34,000 Feet
Monday, August 21, 2017 marked the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in 99 years. This natural phenomenon captivated the entire nation, drawing in millions of viewers to tune into the show in the sky.
What made this eclipse so special? It is rare for a total solar eclipse to occur in the United States, so when the path of totality was set to span 70 miles wide, from Oregon to South Carolina, people swarmed high and low to be within the shadowed band of darkness that stretched across the contiguous United States.
A complete swath across the nation made the scene much more accessible to viewers than any other event, particularly because there was no single location to view, rather, hundreds of miles. The increase in demand to the path of totality greatly impacted all air and ground traffic, both for commercial and private operators. While many of the airports in the Midwest were significantly inundated with requests approaching the eclipse, with many reaching maximum capacity, few had the once-in-a lifetime opportunity to experience the total solar eclipse at an altitude of 34,000 feet in the sky.
For most clients, flying private is an efficiency tool. But, on Monday, many flew private to remote parts of the country for front row seats. We experienced a significant spike in demand for flights to prime viewing locations, operating over 60 trips over the weekend spanning from Oregon to Tennessee. The most popular destination was Jackson, Wyoming.
Hours before the eclipse, the XOJET team had the pleasure of joining Captain Jonathan and First Officer Austin in our spacious Challenger 300 for a special trip to Redmond, Oregon to bring our fans a first-hand glimpse of this special show. Here’s what we experienced: within a short window of time, literally and figuratively, there was an abrupt temperature drop as the moon casted a shadow over the earth, the cabin became dim and the windows began to frost over. At 10:22 AM PST, here’s what we saw:
*Featured Photos: Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Aubrey Gemignani.