This is in response to the Daily Post Challenge (DPchallenge).
They want me to write on my first memory.
Well, it either involved flight, or it involved figs, bloody, juicy figs.
But, the flight memory is more vivid, and it has stayed with me strongly.
And there were really three first flights. (OK, 6 or 7, but we will stay to 3).
My first memory was when I was about 5. It instilled a permanent love of flight in my heart. We will look at that one last.
So, I will go backwards.
Barrel rolling a jet was a vivid memory, and for just a moment, it washed away my love of flight.
Flying along at about 400 miles an hour, my instructor pilot asked me to initiate a barrel roll.
I do not know how much I did, or how much he did. But, we finished it.
But, before we finished, we went upside down. The top of the plane is facing earth, and my backside is facing the moon. At that moment I fell out of my seat, because the seat-belt was old and did not hold completely.
Knowing that all that was between me and about 15,000 feet of air to the ground was my canopy and my parachute, I let out a muffled, “Oh God help me!”
For just a moment, my love of planes took a back seat to my need for self-preservation.
The second experience was about 15 years before that. While flying with my father, and enjoying the oil smells of Central Louisiana, my father asked me, “Son, would you like to do a power on stall?”
I asked, “What’s that.
Looking at my father, I remember the yoke (airplane’s steering wheel) as my father pulled it hard back. And he had to pull hard.
I was pushed into the seat. Hard. I swallowed my stomach back down.
I looked over the dash see the propeller in front of us struggling hard to keep climbing. A propeller is normally a beautiful sight to me, but at that moment, my body was in unknown territory.
And then the climb of the engine was overtaken by gravity.
The plane moved from side to side, the big metal bird (ok, small to you, big to me) shuddered. The rolling continued and then, the bottom dropped out. I started swallowing my stomach as it tried to remain 1,000 above where we were falling.
The radio continued to crackle above and behind us.
We fell mostly flat. And slowly, the heavy nose started to pass the tail. And finally, I could see back over the nose.
EARTH! What a beautiful sight.
And then, that is coming up FAST!
I look to my father, and he is calm, so I calm down and start to really enjoy the ride.
As he gains ‘lift’ he begins to pull back on the yoke and level back off.
“How did you like that?”
“Can we do it again?”
So, when did I start flying?
In my dreams. When I was about 5.
I remember going outside, the wind was rustling the leaves in the big trees. The grass was swaying, I could smell the fresh mown grass. It was a warm spring day.
The wind was blowing so hard, I just put my arms out, closed my eyes, and turned my hands flat.
I waited moment, and I opened my eyes.
I was firmly flat on the ground, and my dog Mike was looking up at me like I was crazy. I shook my head, closed my eyes, and tried again.
That shook my flying know how.
But, that night, I dreamt I was flying again, I yelled to Mike as he chased me, “Are you ready for me to fly?” So, the next day, I tried again. This went on for about a month, and finally, I woke up while I was flying and falling.
OH! I thought, I guess it was only a dream.
But, every now and then, I lay awake and ask, “Mike? Are you there? Are you ready for me to fly?”
Are you a part of DPChallenge yet?