A Flying Lesson

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 07, 2016

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Submitted: October 07, 2016

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When I was only 10 years of age, my father thought it would be interesting if I learned how to fly. You understand, I didn’t even know how to drive a car yet but my father thought it would be fun for me if I could fly even though it would only be a Piper Club with one propeller and one engine and could only go about 80 kilometers an hour at top speed. But it was a plane and could stay in the air and I was really excited.

My father introduced me to his instructor who was some hot shot pilot in the Airforce with a ton of ribbons on his chest and a real live hero who was a friend of my father; and, doing him a favor to teach me to fly. Everyone in the world seemed to know the hotshot instructor except me. As he was leading me to the plane he was laughing his ass off and I was wondering what the hell was so funny. But we didn’t talk and I didn’t ask and he didn’t tell me. We got into the plane me sitting in front and the laughing idiot behind me.

On the left side of the cabin was a throttle and he pushed it forward and another guy in front of the plane pushed down on the propeller and the engine started pumpin’. The plane began shakin’ a little and the pilot pushed the throttle forward a little more and lo and behold we started moving forward. My heart began pumping even more. The plane rolled to the end of a long strip of a smooth top surface and the instructor told me to sit tight. He pushed the throttle all the way, move the stick between his legs forward and after we moved halfway down the strip at full speed he pulled the stick back and we were airborne. I saw the land below, and there was my father lookin’ up, waving, and I waved back. I was one happy kid, about as happy as a male cocker spaniel puppy finding a T bone steak and a female poodle in heat all at the same time.

After we leveled off and goin’ straight ahead the Air Ace tapped me on the shoulder and said “Kid, now it’s your turn. Push the right pedal and moved the stick to the right,” and we went right. “Now move the stick back to where it was,” and we leveled off and went straight ahead and I couldn’t believe it. I was flying an airplane. “Go left,” and we did, and it was easy and I had a grin on my face from ear to ear. “Good, kid, now push the stick forward” and we went down. Lookin’ at the ground, my heart began pumpin’ faster and I could feel the excitement in my body, and the instructor said “Pull the stick back.” and I was happy to see the sky again, and I turned my head and looked at him and we were both smilin’ and nothing in the world could have been better than that moment.

“Kid,” he said. “Let’s go up, pull the stick back”. I did and the nose of the plane headed up and the plane climbed. The instructor said, “Further, go higher”. I pulled the stick back more, but we began slowing down ‘cause the engine didn’t have enough power to climb at the angle we were going, and in no time at all, the engine cut out and the plane started going backwards, and the engine being the heaviest part of the plane, flipped the plane forward and we were headed towards the ground. The hotshot idiot put the plane into a spin and the ground was movin’ up towards us and we were headed down, straight down to the ground and he yelled, “What the hell did you do, kid,”.

I didn’t die yet but I knew I was going to and my underwear could testify to that. I never believed it was possible to be so scared. The lunatic behind me pulled the plane out of the spin and under the telephone wires leveled off and began that hyena laugh again. You know I was laughin’ no more, and I wasn’t talking. I was speechless. My body was limp.

After we landed and pulled over to the hangar, I didn’t even have the energy to step down from the plane. The idiot pilot lifted me down to the arms of my father who saw his sun tanned kid lookin’ as white as a bed sheet just washed and ironed. He asked “What happened?”. The friend of my father told him, “Your son just got his first lesson, to respect a plane. He learned it’s not a toy, and flying isn’t a game. It’s serious business, and next time maybe he’ll learn to fly.”

There was never a next time. The first time was my last time. But when I was 10 years old I did fly and it was 6 years later when I learned how to drive a car. On that day at the airport I got my first emotional yo-yo from feeling so good to you know what, and I gotta tell you it wasn’t the last time it happened in my short life. But that hot shot pilot taught me something more than flying, something I’ll never forget. It was some lesson.

 


© Copyright 2017 Lenny Lowengrub. All rights reserved.

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