We ferryed a flight (flew with no passengers) today from Idaho. We had to stay down at 13,000 feet because we had a broken Yaw Damper (keeps the wings from doing crazy 8s)
I sat in the cockpit and watched the pilots hand fly the plane at 13,000 feet, 8,000 feet from the ground, over the Rocky Mountians. I listened to them sing the Greatful Dead and Kenny Loggins. I went to the back and did lunges, crunches and push ups. I meditated on an empty plane in the dark. I sat in the cockpit as the F/O flew it and landed it by hand.
The most exciting part is when ATC told them about a plane coming, and they said "Roger, we see him" and then they started saying "Oh my god, is he turning too?" I saw the plane coming straight at us, and I won't lie, my adrenaline started pumping. Of course it was all fine, but for that moment I allowed myself to get scared, and while the F/O was landing it I got exhilirated too. I imagined being in his shoes, landing a plane, having our lives, as well as those on the ground, competely in his hands, it was so exciting.
Those poor guys were so burnt out by the end of the day (did I mention we sat for 5 hours in Idaho dealing with the maintenence problem and getting the ferry permit?) but I was exhilirated. It was such a great experience for me. Ooh, and I ate stromboli, that was good too :)
So I make 20K a year, but look what my life is like.