Dan Yeakel was the lucky winner of our solar eclipse sweepstakes. Dan and his friend, Rick Foy, experienced the total solar eclipse from 40,000 ft over the Pacific Ocean in a charted Alaska Airlines flight. Below Dan and Rick describe the incredible experience that they’ll never forget.
How are you guys feeling about the flight?
Rick: Very excited! We couldn’t sleep last night. The opportunity to experience something like this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Everyone else on the mainland is hoping clouds don’t spoil their view. We don’t have to worry about that!
Why did you decide to enter our sweepstakes?
Dan: I saw it on Facebook and thought that’d be something I’d really enjoy doing. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. How many people can say they viewed a total solar eclipse from 40,000 ft over the Pacific Ocean!
What’s your favorite weather phenomenon?
Dan: Since we are on the east coast, hurricanes are my favorite weather phenomenon. Hurricanes always get everybody’s attention.
Why did you decide to bring Rick as your guest?
Dan: Rick is a great friend, and we have traveled together in the past.
Are either of you weather geeks?
Dan: A little bit. I’m always looking for that special weather moment to capture!
Rick: A bit, yeah! I always turn The Weather Channel on every day to check the local weather and see what’s going on.
What were your overall thoughts about the eclipse flight?
Rick: Phenomenal! Alaska Airlines offered a first class service. After this experience, I appreciate science even more.
Dan: The precision of calculation to intercept the sun and the moon at the exact right time within 128 ft is mind boggling.
Did you have great views of the eclipse?
Dan: Absolutely beautiful! Indescribable.
Did you experience/see anything you weren’t expecting?
Rick: The anticipation on the flight before the eclipse was very exciting.
Dan: The opportunity to see sunlight on one side of the plane and complete utter darkness on the other was something I was not expecting.
What part of the eclipse was the coolest to see while on the flight?
Dan: Totality! Hands down.
What was the atmosphere like on the flight leading up to and during totality?
Rick: Giddy, excited. As soon as the total eclipse began, a hush fell over the entire airplane.
Dan: The plane was full of comradery. Everyone was there for a single, common purpose. That was amazing to be a part of.
What did you think of your first eclipse?
Dan: Breathtaking. It’s clearly a bucket list item that I didn’t know was on my bucket list.
Rick: Everything and more!