Thursday, September 25, 2008

Aviation Fun

So I am working but the lunchtime meds always make me sort of goofy. So I tend to wander the net and waste time. Point Niner had this...pickin' on the Air Force - a timely thing since my stepdaughter enlists in a month or so.

Yeah, a wee bit cruel. But funny!

And of course the requisite "are you sure you need to be a pilot" video. Either he is a moron with a crappy pre-flight OR one lucky, talented SOB. (Because a part of me thinks he killed the engine prior to the video...)

I was thinking the other day about the lunatic who gave me the wheel of his Grumman Traveler for a half dozen flights. (He wrote a hilarious book about aviation but you cannot get it from Amazon at a decent price anymore. I shall loan my own copy if you pinky swear that you will send it back...) Joel had this idea that he would teach me in a zen manner - give me the controls and let me find their impact on the plane through experience.

Now, I know the general concepts, terminology, and kinda sorta the physics of the thing. But to be in the air and watch him settle back and gesture to the wheel...a dream come true and a nightmare. We would leave from RYY, a nice, small airport. He'd head to a slightly distant non-monitored location where he did his touch and go's and I'd do my best to avoid doing my worst.

I had this...well, I like to carve those turns on that approach L thing. And I did it a bit too aggressively. So after that touch and go (which he always cared for) he took us up rather high and then showed me what happens when you are too aggressive and dump too much air off the wing. cured me. LOL

But we never did get to do the one thing I'd hoped for - I wanted to touch a cloud. Taste it. But the truth is that clouds aren't always kind to planes so while we were always looking for a good candidate, it never did work out.

Now, that immaculate aircraft is pleasing someone else since he sold it recently. And it has been years since those hours in the air. But I still remember it so well. What fun, what incredible freedom and pleasure and fun!

Joel was, for me, exactly the person I needed in my life at that time. Heck, at any time. He is a raconteur, a genius, a goofball, and a true gentleman. And his codex has directed me when in time of need. It contains so many lovely sentiments. Such as, "Put absolute limits on the extent to which you allow others to manipulate your life." I mean, right there is a solution to a thousand problems that people have.

Anyhoo...that's about it, I guess. And yes, I have wasted far too much time's been a nice trip down memory lane.

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