Monday, October 30, 2006

Memories of this and that

Did you know that when you are flying it is sometimes easier to spot another airplane in the air by first spotting it's shadow on the ground? I guess it's because it really catches your eye to see a shadow moving across the terrain below. So, once the moving shadow is spotted , the vigilant pilot will look about until he locates the other aircraft. An airplane three or four miles away looks to be only about an inch long when you see it from the air and so are not really easy to spot.

The shadows of gyros with their spinning rotors look like spiders in a hurry when you see them moving across the ground. Another neat thing to see when flying a gyro is a circle or what looks like a halo around the shadow of the gyro as it moves across the countryside. I suppose it has to do with moisture in the air and the sun shining through it. I've never seen the circle or halo effect when flying airplanes but have seen it a number of times while flying my gyro.

Speaking of rainbows, once long ago my daughter Linda and I were flying our Champ after early morning rain showers. Linda spotted a beautiful rainbow and wanted to fly to the end of it which appeared to be fairly close. We flew toward it only to find it was not where it had appeared to be but was still some distance away. We never did catch up with it but chasing the rainbow made wonderful memories for us both.

Once when taking an old friend for a flight in our Champ, I glanced over and saw that he was holding onto the door handle. It was his first time in a small airplane and I thought he might be nervous and that was why he had hold of the door handle. I landed shortly afterwards and I asked him about him holding onto the door handle...his explanation was simplicity itself-he said that he was holding the door closed. The door had a tendency to come open in flight but the slip stream would only let it open to a few inches. I was used to it and had forgotten to mention it to Bert, so when the door popped open he just held it closed. He wasn't scared at all...so he said.

There was a man who started hanging out at the local airport where we based our airplane. He was there even in coldest weather, sitting out on a bench looking at the aircraft or walking among the parked aircraft, talking to the airplanes and blessing them. He kept to himself or maybe others just kept their distance from him because of his strange ways. I know I did. One day as Docko and I were preflighting our Champ the fellow came over and asked to be taken for a flight. We told him no. We were headed on a trip. I wouldn't have taken him aloft anyway because of his strange ways. But one pilot did.

Les was a flight instructor on the field and he was big as a house. You wouldn't think anything could scare him . Les consented to take the man for a ride in a Cessna 150. Off they went...when they got to altitude Les reported later the man started talking crazy. Said he wanted to kill everybody. Said he was going to, in fact. Spooked Les out for sure. He wasted no time in putting the strange passenger on the ground! Eventually the strange man quit coming to the airport and I think all the pilots felt a sense of relief that he was gone.

Ah, memories...aint they great?

Lately I've been helping daughter Linda paint the inside of her doublewide mobile home. She came home from town today and said, "Mom, I've got something for you!", as she held up two more gallons of paint and new brushes. OH THANK YOU LINDA ! I'm beginning to wish she had bought a tiny little trailer...just kidding. She has a most spacious and beautiful mobile home and I'm happy to be helping her.

Daughter Donna will be with us for Thanksgiving...I'm a happy mama about that. And son Dave, he is undoubtedly one of the safest drivers on the road , ever watchful as to the other drivers. Yesterday a young man made an illegal turn from the outside lane, cut across in front of Dave who was in the inside lane. The young man was headed for the left turn lane but it was blocked by a vehicle so he just stopped in the lane right in front of Dave. Unable to avoid him, Dave clipped his rear bumper. Dave has got his pickup going again but it turns out the other driver is avoiding calls from the insurance company...He was at fault and it looks like he is dodging facing the music. Fortunately he admitted to the CHP that it was his fault and also someone stepped forward and gave Dave his card, saying he had seen it all and would testify for Dave.

And me, You would think I have enough trouble trying to figure out the desk top computer that I have but I went and bought a lap top a few days ago...I have visions of sitting up in bed warm and cozy, in those wee hours when I can't sleep and writing the new gyro book on the lap top...wish me well trying to learn to handle it!

Till next time.
Marion Springer
ddakota@earthlink.net