Monday, July 27, 2009

Learning to Fly

I am working on a series of columns about airplanes and learning to fly. Here is a sample...

So now you’re ready to fly. Turn on the ignition and pull the rope and lets get going! The big noisy thing up front will start to turn, so drive out to the runway and just go!

As you see yourself leaving the ground for the first time, you will experience a strange sensation. This sensation is called “Barfing” and is completely normal.

Once the heaves settle down, or you experience ‘emptiness’ as we pilots call it, you will notice that you are headed straight for the big trees of the end of the runway. Pull back on the stick, try to stop shrieking for just a moment, and show your student how the controls work together in harmony, side by side on the piano keyboard, oh lord why can't we? Nevermind.

Now we can see how all the buildings and farms really are the size of ants. If you have done some careful planning, you will notice the ant-like people down there really jump when the water balloon you dropped near them explodes in a great, big splash! This is lots of fun to do, if technically illegal, so limit your bombs to friendly neighbours who won’t fink to the police on you. Or fly so high they can't see who it is.

I learned to fly when I was much younger, back when I had time, money, thinness, hair, muscles and coordination. I grew up with a flying father who even owned an airplane for a while. It was great – we’d fly into remote fishing strips and denude the rivers of small inhabitants, then spend the next 4 days cutting brush and trees from the end of the runway so we could take off again without getting too many branches stuck in our wheels. We would usually just tell Mom about the fish.

When flying, Dad would bellow something vital about seat belts or engine fires or whatever from the pilot’s seat up front from time to time. I could never hear these commands since the wax in my crustacean tubes was making me deaf and brain-swollen, so I’d just merrily sit in the back seat, undoing screws or bolts on the aircraft, completely oblivious as to what was going on around me. Kind of like being at work come to think of it.

Now before you can become a pilot you have got to learn The Principles of Flight. These are, in no particular order: loft, drag, flops, gravity, thrust, parry, waddle, rudder and smoke.

Incidentally, Waddle, Rudder and Smoke is where my lawyer works.

To be continued...

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