All my life I had dreamed of breaking the sound barrier. Today's aircraft with all their power and computer driven controls make it simply a non issue. With stick in hand and throttle pumped up a notch, I watched the mach meter climb gradually up... ... .97,... .98... .99.... 1.00... 1.01 etc. There was no sloppy controls. No shudder. No noise. Just less gas mileage. It could be treated like crossing the equator I suppose. Or maybe a time zone. Without some external instrument telling you where you were, you would not see a change. Like a firecracker that just fizzled.
We exceeded mach1 two times. The first was at a fairly high altitude but the second was at 200' agl. Doing mach 1.3 at such a low altitude was impressive but still not like star wars. We were doing about 1400 feet per second which is 7 times our agl height every second. An illustration of the speed is like driving at about 25 mph. Your eyeball height looking out the side window compared to the forward speed is similar to mach 1.3 at 200' eye height. The difference is now you need to imagine a scattering of 1/2" diameter marbles on the road surface as these would represent the 2' high sage brush on the desert.