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An Afternoon Flight In Spring

dlwdracos

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2002
Posts
61
Total Time
400hrs
An Afternoon Flight In Spring

As the long weeks of wind and weather begin to fade, springtime seems less like an enemy and more like a friend. The warming days and clear blue sky?s call to the heart of the aviator. Longer days entice the work weary to make a pilgrimage to the sacred places of 100LL and oil coated aircraft. This is flying weather, the pilot must fly.

The wind and sky are just right for flying and the airport is alive with fellow worshipers. It feels good to be joined by other intrepid fools and their machines. Fools, yes that is what the outsider thinks of us. Willing to risk life and limb for what? But, how could they know. They are like ants to us. Little creatures scurrying about in their little cars. To busy to look up at the sound of an airplane passing by. Without the soul of an adventurer, they choose to remain in, what they consider, their safe and secure world. If only they knew, could see. What they fear, makes others know that life is still rich and full of joy. The gifts of the wind and sky are many, the pitfalls few for the able airman. Two things are our mortal enemy: First, a shortage of that precious life giving fluid, blue and pungent, known only as 100LL. Keep it close and in ample supply and your way will most likely be safe. Second, the angry winds and dark gray skies. Keep clear of these and your journey?s outcome will likely be successful.

The hanger doors part with little protest and light falls on the most beautiful of mankind?s creation. That is the key to it all, created by man. Wonderful, safe, and designed with every concern, but still, by a man. What men can build can and does break, so the aviator takes time to search out his craft. Checking this and verifying that, the airplane is lovingly examined for any potential hazard or deficiency. There is always plenty of time for the preflight. If not, time may stand still someday and one would wish that time also could be reversed. But theses thoughts are not for the light of heart, as any pilot is on a day like this.

The Mighty 150 seems less mighty this warm spring afternoon. It reminds me that soon, the days will come when breaking free of the earth takes all my skill and all the power my little craft can give. We roll along endlessly in the light wind and once airborne we climb only after protest. However, the aviator remembers that to go up, you must sometimes go down. So over goes the nose and we survey the remaining runway in the cushion of air that is close to the ground. Satisfied that I am asking only what she can give, my lady casts off the shackles of earth and rises into the heavens. Once free of that mundane soil, she comes alive and her earlier protests fade into distant memory. However, let them not fade too far as, soon the day will come that this issue is raised with a vengeance. That day will take all of my skills and all of my lady?s efforts. For one day this coming summer, fat with fuel and ballast, in the heat that only the southern plains can generate, our fates will be intertwined and runway may not seem long enough.

This day, though is not one so treacherous and we make for the adventurous places. A lake in the distance beckons the investigations of the birdman. To wheel and dance like the gull, and hawk is a treasure that few will find. But first, I fly to the place of my ancestors as the paternal home is conveniently en route. I circle overhead not quite as low as I dare, but low. I see a shadow by the pool, is that him? I circle again and now he is standing. Lower I go, until I feel that safety prevents my passage beyond. Now I can see him clearly, his face upraised but still inscrutable. I ponder, does he know who this is that makes circuits about his rural home. Neighbors are not close, so this craft must have purpose. In many ways, this passing from sky over earth is like the relationship of the father and the son. It is distant and neither is sure that they are making connection. Some day, the subject will be broached and confessions made. Yes, we visited you that day father, if only you could understand. But you were down there, and I up here. There is just too much space between us for proper communication. Slowly, reluctantly, we leave.

The lake is close, and lower we fly. Now we see all the fishermen and boats. They float along in an alien world, not unlike the one I transverse. Air and water flow like brothers. Like a swift fish, my craft parts the realms of air so like the liquid below. In time sun gets lower, and my heart acknowledges the time is getting late. Homeward we trek at 100 knots, oh what speed. We race the ants and easily win the day. The home field is approached and the airspace is again shared with the worshipers of wind and sky. On the ground again we are reflective. We thank our mount an lovingly put her back in the stall. ?I will return to you soon?, I whisper. Once again we will test, the wind and sky. Until that time my thoughts will ever dwell on the afternoon we spent together, apart from my mundane life, alive and free.
 

bobbysamd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
5,710
Total Time
4565
So, you finally finished your Private. Congratulations!

You could send that piece to Harper's. Were you buzzing fishermen on Hefner or Overholser?

How 'bout writing one on Oklahoma crosswinds?

With whom did you take your checkride? Private me if you'd like.
 

dlwdracos

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2002
Posts
61
Total Time
400hrs
Hey Bobby, long time. I guess I was away from this board a while. It wasn't working for my login and I just gave up a while. I have been at www.studentpilot.com which is an excellent student board.

Yes, I got my PPSEL on 2/16/02. Ken Copland was my DPE and the ride went fine. He taught me a lot about flying during that 5 hour check ride and oral.

Now, on the subject of buzzin fishermen, as an FAA certificated pilot I would never violate the FAR. So, 500ft was as low as I got. Oh, the lake was Arcadia.

On crosswinds, I guess I can't yet write about those as I have been avoiding the heavy ones. I am working my way up gradually. Heck, I only have 100hrs:rolleyes:
 

jjbiv

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2002
Posts
81
You've gotta be **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED**tin me -- a five hour oral and PPLSEL checkride?
 

dlwdracos

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2002
Posts
61
Total Time
400hrs
jjbiv, do you really have "zero" time? Just curious. BTW, 3-4 hours is not at all unusual here in Oklahoma. My DPE is know for being a conversationalist. I enjoyed the whole thing. The flight itself was about 1-1.2 I can't exactlly remember.

He wasn't grilling me the whole time or anything, just discussing things.
 

bobbysamd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
5,710
Total Time
4565
Ken Copland

I knew Ken Copland when he was the Governor's pilot on the State's KingAir. Super guy. I can't remember if he was George or Henry's pilot. I saw him all the time at Wiley Post.

Sometime, you need to get your instructor and work in those Okie crosswinds. Otherwise, you'll be on the ground a lot.

Good luck with your flying.
 

dlwdracos

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2002
Posts
61
Total Time
400hrs
Oh, don't worry too much, I am not really afraid. I know what to do, but I just usually stay on the ground when its blowing 20-25 knots. I would have no problem tackling a 15 knot xwind, if it wasn't gusting much.

Remember, I am in a 1600lb highwing.
 
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