Features July-Dec 2002

It was fun to fly -- part three, Spins

 ... one of life's more embarrassing moments

by Marie Moreland

Editor's note: This is Marie's third article on learning to fly, a story that begins in the late 1930s and runs over a period of several years. To read her first chapter, click on It was fun to fly. and her second pice, "I looked down and there was the instructor ..."



The time was September, 1941, and Marie had just soloed. Now was time for spins and spirals in her yellow Piper Cub. In less than three months, the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor.

I have accumulated enough time to take a written exam, and enough flying time for my private license. But I have to first do spins and take a cross-country trip, both dual and solo.

Today I go for spins. We, my instructor and I, wearing parachutes, climb into the 60 h.p. Piper Club. We take off and climb to 1500 feet. We level off and, instructed to cut the engine, I push my right foot on the rudder and we turn into a downward glide -- which turns into a spin. After two complete turns, I pull up on the nose and level out as I gradually push the throttle onto full speed. We climb back to 1500 feet to do another spin. It was a thrilling experience! As I did the spin the earth below me sprung up around me and when I pulled back on the stick, I was thrust back into my seat.

The next day I made the spins alone and did o.k. When I got back into the office to have my log book signed by my instructor, I suddenly felt quite sick and had to run outside to throw up on the grass. This was not pleasant and the others in the office laughed and said that happens to most students at first.


Illustration of the Piper Club by former US Air Corps test pilot, now SilverStringer, Russ Priestley.



September 5, 2003


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