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greetings from otis english--this is a true story about me-such excitement--any photo attached is one of my paintings--good luck - sncerely


Submitted:Jul 19, 2008    Reads: 140    Comments: 2    Likes: 1   


1/15/08 'MY LAST SPIN'

IN THE FALL OF 1946--I WAS DOWNTOWN IN DENVER, CO -BY WAY OF A STREET CAR FROM THE ARMY LOWRY FIELD EAST OF TOWN--WHERE I WAS BEING TAUGHT TO USE A TYPEWRITER--

IN WALKING DISTANCE FROM DOWN TOWN TO THE NORTH EAST--THERE WAS A SMALL 2 RUNWAY DIRT STRIP AIRFIELD NAMED COMB FIELD--I HAD BEEN CHECKED OUT THERE BY AN INSTRUCTOR--SO THIS DAY I WAS HEADED THERE TO RENT A PIPER J-3 CUB TO DO A BIT OF FLYING--I HAD A PRIVATE LICENSE--FOR LIGHT AIRCRAFT SUCH AS THE CUB--

I TOOK OFF AND HEADED FOR A HIGH ALTITUDE --I INTENDED TO DO A SPIN MANEUVER--FLYING SOLO OR WITH A PASSENGER MY FEAR LEVEL WAS ALWAYS ABOUT 25%--LESS THAN THIS WHEN AN INSTRUCTOR WAS WITH ME--TO DO THIS SPIN I KNEW MY FEAR LEVEL WOULD REACH 75% EASY--

I CLIMBED TO 4000 FEET--DENVER ITSELF IS 5000 FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL--AND THE CEILING FOR FLIGHT IN A PIPER CUB WAS 10,000 FEET--SO I WAS JUST ABOUT TO THE ALTITUDE LIMIT--

LOOKING DOWN I SAW DUST MOVING ON THE GROUND--EVIDENTLY SOME WIND HAD BECOME ACTIVE--

WITH DETERMINATION--I CLOSED THE THROTTLE TO IDLE POSITION--PULLING THE CONTROL STICK BACK RAISING THE NOSE AN SLOWING THE AIRCRAFT--AT ABOUT 40 MPH THE NOSE STARTED TO FALL--I HAD THE CONTROL STICK FULLY BACK AND NOW I HIT THE RIGHT RUDDER PEDAL--THE CRAFT BEGAN TO FALL STRAIGHT DOWN--BUT IN A STALLED AIRSPEED --IN A TWISTING CIRCLE--THE FUSELAGE PERHAPS AT A 30 DEGREE ANGLE IN RELATION TO THE GROUND--AFTER 3 REVOLUTIONS--I STOPPED THE SPIN WITH THE LEFT RUDDER PEDAL --EASED THE CONTROL STICK TO ABOUT NEUTRAL POSTION--NOW HEADING ALMOST STRAIGHT DOWNWARD--

I SLOWLY BEGAN TO PULL THE CONTROL STICK BACK IN ORDER TO RAISE THE NOSE AND GET INTO A LEVEL FLYING POSITION--THIS IS A TRICKY PART--YOU DONOT WANT TO PULL BACK TOO SOON AND ALSO NOT TOO LATE--YOU COULD STALL AGAIN OR PUT TOO MUCH STRAIN ON THE CRAFT--I LEVELED OFF AND ADDED POWER--I HAD MADE A SUCCESSFUL SPIN OF 3 TURNS--I WAS TAUGHT TO DO THIS IN MY FLIGHT TRAINING--

I DID NOT KNOW AT THE TIME--BUT THIS WOULD BE MY LAST TIME TO DO A SPIN-=-

AS I APPROACHED THE RUNWAY TO LAND--TO MY SURPRISE A PIPER CUB WAS SITTING STILL AT THE END OF THE RUNWAY--THE WIND WAS PRETTY STRONG--SO I JUST GLIDED OVER THE CRAFT ON THE GROUND AND LANDED--SOMEONE MET ME AT THE END OF THE LANDING RUN TO HOLD MY RIGHT WIND AS I TAXIED TO THE LEFT--THERE WAS A FEAR THE PLANE MIGHT TIP OVER DUE TO THE HIGH WIND FROM THE NORTH--

IN THE OFFICE NOW TO PAY FOR MY FLIGHT--AN ARMY CAPTAIN STOOD AT THE DESK--I SALUTED HIM - HE SAID NOTHING--I GUESS THAT CUB SITTING ON THE RUNWAY WAS HIS--PERHAPS THE ENGINE HAD STOPPED BEFORE HE STARTED TO TAKE OFF--I STILL WONDER ABOUT THIS--

NO ONE EXPRESSED ANY THOUGHTS--I PAID AND LEFT--

I STILL VIVIDLY REMEMBER THIS AFTER 61 YEARS--FLYING WAS THE HEIGHT OF MY LIFETIME EXPERIENCES--AND A DREAM COME TRUE--

BY OTIS ENGLISH





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