A Good Day To Die
Arriving at the airport, we made our way into a building where my father paid to rent a plane, buy the fuel, get the low down on weather conditions and chit chat about I only could guess what.
Minutes later we were walking off toward a tan and white-ish colored single engine Cessna. I was already getting excited about the prospect that soon our chariot would take us to where the birds fly.
Dad checked the fuel mixture, did the walk around to examine the condition of the plane and went through his pre-flight check list. A few more minutes went by.
Soon the engine came to life and dad was on coms with the tower getting permission to take off. The tower gave my father directions as to what altitude we would be flying as well as a bunch of other babble I couldn’t make out.
Using the foot rudders to taxi to the designated runway, I made our way to an area in which we would stop to check the flaps. More pilot lingo ensued.
With everything looking good, I was told to get us in the air. I pushed the throttle in and the airplane began to roar. We began to move and quickly gained speed.
Moments later, I pulled the wheel back and I could feel the plane leaving planet earth. The feeling was exhilarating! The safety of being on the ground was no more.
We soared over town for a few minutes before my dad gave me some interesting news. He was going to take over so he could show me a couple ways to get out of a stall.
Remember! In case of emergency, the Cessna can and will glide to the ground. I was preparing for what could turn out to be a very memorable airplane ride. Little good it did me!
The first method my dad showed me, I’m speculating, was engine failure. He pulled out the throttle to deaden the engine, but not kill it completely. The annoying stall buzzer sounded. Confusion sat in.
The props slowed to a “crawl” and the plane shuddered slightly – bouncing the nose up before it decided to show us what a 3-D version of plummeting to the ground looked like. Here we go!
My hands braced dash. Panic and terror washed over me. The things on the ground were getting larger in appearance by the second. So long world! At least I won’t have to worry about going back to school!
The father figure driving our sinking ship was now laughing; all the while coolly instructing me on what he was doing to restore control of the airplane. That’s right. He was talking normally!
He might as well been wearing a clown suit and singing a gospel hymn because I was beginning to think the only thing on my mind was going to be the last thing on my mind. Forever!
The aircraft sputtered, the propellers came back to full swing and we jolted as the plane began to climb back to altitude. Heart rate decreasing. Breathing returning to normal. All was well.
The laughing dad person asked me if I was okay. Seriously, dude? I acknowledged and was then told there was another nifty way to get out of a stall.
Another way? How many ways can one drive an airplane into the earth at a terminal rate of velocity? Are you freak’n kidding me? Cool! Let’s do this!
This time, the ole father of mine pulled back on the wheel. We started climbing – gaining more altitude. I looked out of the window and watched the things on the ground getting smaller and smaller.
Heck! This was more like it! Hold on a sec! He said we were going to stall the plane again, right? Okay, so-o-o…
We reached a thirteen degree critical point of climb. The stupid buzzer started making that racket again. Great. NOW what?
Once again, the propellers slowed, but, this time, something weird happened. For a second, and only for a second, the airplane seemed to hover motionless in mid air.
Then it happened.
The plane went into reverse; slightly falling backward before tilting over back onto its bow end. Talking about a very awkward feeling!
Once again, for the second time now, my hands went to the dash as if they were magnetically attracted. Pulse quickens. But a little more clear headed this time. After all, this wasn’t my first rodeo!
Dad went through the motions of regaining control of the airplane as before. The craft started back to life as it did before, and moments later we were back at cruising altitude.
Ah, good times! You know, even if you asked me at the very moment of panic if I was having fun I probably would have said I was. And would I ever do it again?
In a heartbeat!
So there ya have it! A little piece of my life. If you enjoyed this story, or have one of your own, put it in the comments. I’d love to read about it!
Thanks, everybody! Have an awesome day!