For those of us who like to fly small aircraft, and in particular aircraft like a Piper J-3 Cub, winter is not our friend. Firing up the ol' Continental 85 after having the Tanis heaters plugged in for an hour or so to aviate for an hour or so seems like a lot of work during the dreary winter months.
But give me one of those crisp, clear Michigan winter days with nothing but blue sky and high cirrus and I'm game for it. As you taxi out between those high banks of snow and down the taxiway to the end of the runway the small amount of hot only warms the front seat passenger; the pilot in the back gets all of the breeze coming from the small openings everywhere around the cockpit.
But, no matter, it is the flight that counts. If you aren't a pilot you won't understand, but just to be free, to put all of your cares behind you and escape the ground brings back a flood of memories of flights of days gone bye. I once had a partner in my aviation insurance business (a rascal we called "RAT") who said he loved the aviation insurance business but knew nothing about flying and pilots. His focus was on space, something of passing interest to those of us who can actually climb into the sky and view God's marevelous creation!
What a shame for the earth bound who will never know the peace and joy of being free - no radio, no flight plan, no schedule, no smell of jet fuel - just the wide open sky like an invitation to a time long ago and a thrill that comes rushing back as though it was that first flight many years ago. Thank God for Piper Cubs and great days!
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of...wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up, the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space...
...put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.