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50
The lure of flying
After my first ride with my Pop in the old Tri-Pacer he had rented,
I was determined never to fly again. He was a crackerjack pilot.
I was just a six year old, petrified of having nothing but air for
a thousand feet between us and the ground below. After a
few “near” takeoffs, I conjured up my courage, mostly out of
humiliation, to go up and around the pattern with Pop. I held on
for dear life, but managed to survive the experience.
by Carl David
That was the genesis of countless hours and we slipped beyond their grasp. Weather and
many years of flying with my father to follow. traffic became our focus as we headed toward
From single engine craft to the twin engine destinations unknown in random pleasure
Aztec, which we came to love so much, we lined and abandon.
up on the runway, waited for clearance, and ran We would level off below ten thousand
up the engines while the wings buffeted with feet, relaxing the throttles and leaning the
prop wash. And, off we went! The immense engines as the prop pitches were adjusted
rush of power intoxicated me as those red- and the trim was set for appropriate cruise
tipped throttles plunged forward, pinning us at 200 knots. The sky is a brilliant heavenly
back into the leather seats. The airplane lunged blue, visibility unlimited, winds calm—ah,
forward, gobbling up asphalt as the center this is God’s country—a glorious unrestricted
runway lines morphed from broken to solid vista where topside atmosphere abounds.
while the nose lifted off in eager anticipation. In the cabin, Pop and I were surrounded by
We tucked away the landing gear when there gauges and instruments measuring our every
was no longer enough runway to abort takeoff. movement and attitude indicating our flight
Airborne, we were absent of all outside sound path. Time stopped as we traversed beauty
but for the melodic synchronized drone of the beyond description. With our fuel tanks topped,
twin Lycomings as they pulled us skyward to our range was substantial—five hours and one
serenity, air whooshing by in a sea of majestic thousand miles to spend any way we choose.
calm as the ground fell away into a panoramic This was the ultimate escape. It never mattered
landscape. But for the occasional squawk and where we ended up; it wasn’t the destination
vectoring from the radios, the travails of life that mattered, but the journey and getting there
were in the past and out of reach as quickly, was better than being there.
avantoure | |school of trickery
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