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Rated: E · Fiction · Contest · #2269045
Writers Cramp Story
First Flight

It’s a cold December morning and I expect disappointment. My long-expected and oft delayed flight would be cancelled for some reason. When the pilot calls to say he has a flat tire and will be late, my heart drops. It’s not the first-time things don’t work in my favor. But I wait anyway. The pilot’s lounge is warm; offering a comfortable couch, snacks and coffee. Two ground crew drift in from the tarmac, I notice their quick, curious glances at me.

My sadness dissolves at the sight of a short man in a bright wight shirt with captain’s epaulets rushing through the front door. I think, “I hope this guy is my pilot?” I can feel my excitement grow when he walks up and asks, “Are you Bob, my student today.”

I nod, “Yes, and you’re Hector?’

“Yes.” He extends his hand and we shake. “Follow me to the office.”

He leads me half way down a long hall with office doors on both sides. Each door is tagged with different company names. The office is two rooms, both small and cramped. He motions for me to sit as he asks. “Have you had any flight training before?”

“Not in a real plane. Just PC flight simulators. Bin fooling with that for about seven years.” He seemed happy about not having to explain all the fundamentals of flight to me.

“Have you ever flown before?”

“Yes, and I’ve maintained avionics in Naval aircraft when I was in service.”

After being interviewed for a few more minutes we are walking out on the parking apron beside the hangar. It’s cold with a slight overcast; the smell of av-gas and fresh asphalt fill my nostrils.

I follow him to one of the low-wing, single engine Bonanza’s. After the walk around, he tells me to get in and sit in the left seat. The cockpit is tight and it’s hard to maneuver my fat body into the seat.

He instructs me on starting the engine and testing the controls. Soon we’re taxiing and then we are at the end of the runway. Looking down that long highway, a mile long and over a hundred feet wide; he says. “Okay, open the throttle…”

I am at the controls and the plane is beginning its roll. Accelerating quickly, I keep my focus on far end of the runway. About half way to the end, we are airborne and climbing. My instructor tells me to turn right and level the plane at sixteen hundred feet.

I’ve done this so many times on my flight simulator, but this is real, I am actually flying. Looking out at the ground and it’s almost anticlimactic. The ground and buildings; everything is just shrinking away.

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