... what a great feeling!
During my last years (1939-40) in Jamacia Plain High School, I was able to take flying lessons at Bayside Flying Service in Revere, Massachusetts. I worked in the office keeping records of the planes. This was on the weekends and my salary was small with a half hour of flying time.
During that time I wrote the following article for the "Clarion" published by the Jamaica High four times a year.
Muellers Airport, Revere, Mass.
Flying gives me such a grand feeling. I'll never forget the first time I sat behind the controls of a plane for my first lesson. A queer sinking feeling went all through me. "Will I ever manage to fly this contraption?" I wondered as my instructor climbed into the seat in front of me.
We had a set of dual controls, so that either person could pilot the plane. I was told to put my right hand on the stick that projected from the floor in front of me, to put my feet on the rudders and to follow my instuctor through. I did this as he shouted "contact" to the mechanic who swung the propeller. The engine roared into action. I quivered with excitement as the plane was taxied to the end of the field. The instructor executed a turn and then headed the ship into the wind. I thought the plane was never going to leave the ground, when my instructor opened the throttle wide and pulled back the stick. We were off the ground--climbing high into space! I was suprised--I didn't experience any queer sensations, for we were gliding upward just as smoothly as you please. It was wonderful!
My instructor turned to me and told me how to fly level by keeping the nose of the ship on the horizon and her wings level. By moving the stick away from me, it would rise above it. If my right wing was slightly lower than my left, I found by moving the stick a little to the left I corrected this fault.
Next thing I learned was to make a turn. To do a right turn I was to move my stick slightly to the right, press a little on the right rudder and remembering, of course, which I forgot--to keep the nose on the horizon. I made several turns first to the right and then to the left as I was instructed. Giving my undivided attention to my wings, to keep them level and at a 30° angle in my turns, I often forgot about the nose of the plane as I've mentioned before. My instructor would patiently remind me of it.
"Ah, yes! the horizon" and promptly jerk the nose to it. But this, too, was wrong, for in flying I should always handle the controls smoothly and easily.
I started to ask my instructor a question and to my suprise, I could scarcely hear myself above the roar of the engine even though I shouted.
After we landed, I left the plane with a desire to fly and to learn more about aviation. This flight was a great thrill but my greatest thrill was yet to come-- my first solo!
Believe me, it's fun to fly!
July 3, 2003