Thursday, April 24, 2014

Blue and Green

The Missouri River
The dominant colors of the day? Blue and green. Cerulean blue is the sky, nearly cloudless now as the sea breeze this afternoon has pushed what little moisture there is inland toward the lake. Verdant green is the spring foliage, growing as fast as it can before the earth dries out. We've had no rain for nearly a week. Is this the beginning of fire season? I wonder.

The hangar has been buzzing with action, as everyone brings their airplanes in at once. It seems like every pilot in the neighborhood wants his/her airplane inspected before their big summer trips. Or it could be that the weather has finally stabilized to the point where they want to fly again and are discovering the horrible truth: airplanes that sit tend to have more unairworthy items. Stinks, but airplanes aren't happy if they aren't flying.

Well, neither are some pilots. Count me among them. It's been a couple of weeks and I'm starting to get antsy for air time. Last week the hold up was an alternator retrofit. This week it is the log
jam of airplanes in the hangar. But this weekend? I'm feeling as if I'm just going to have to go fly.

Destination won't be important. It will be the exercise of preflight, climbing in, running the checklist, firing up, taxiing out, running up, and then clearing the area for takeoff. That's what counts. Once airborne I'll head west to the coastline, and run my typical patrol. It's a stunning sunrise or sunset tour, and not too bad even in the in-between hours.

Twenty minutes is all I need. Strange, isn't it? Twenty minutes in a perky little yellow machine at 1,000 AGL and my whole attitude resets. It's been like that with me for 35 years now. Let me alone at the controls of an aircraft in flight for a little while and I'm a new person, in a new world. When people ask me, why do I fly? I tell them: that's why.

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