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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Clipping Daisies

So low as to be called barely flying
With the landscape being eaten quickly by the windscreen
Like something out of a video game cinematic

If I could press a pause button
I could count the blades of grass
The petals of the flowers
See insects upon them with their shimmering frozen wings

But the airspeed indicator loudly proclaims 170 knots
And the altimeter indicating zero

I'd have to get that looked at
I idly thought
Because we are clearly at about 25 feet off the deck

A low hill loomed large in the distance
Causing me to gently pull back on the yoke
The well worn Cessna logo cast into the center coming a few inches closer to my belly

My ears detected a slight change in the twin propeller's pitch
As the sound raised up half a note
Changing from a natural to a sharp
A minor adjustment in a Skymaster duet

At the crest of the hill I spied a small clump of trees a few miles out
Located just to the left of my path

Imagining that I was flying an O-2 on patrol in Vietnam
I kicked the rudder and rocked the wings slightly
Aiming right for these enemy oaks
My thumb hovering over an imaginary red firing button which I'd flipped the guard up on
Ready to press down to release a volley of fictitious rockets from the pods on my wings

The uppermost leaves on the top branches slap at my belly as I pass overhead
Continuing my charge up the valley
Pulled forward by engine number one
Pushed faster by engine number two

If I've flown this route once
I've flown it a hundred times
This place felt like home to me
And if I screwed up a cue and flew into the ground?

Well I couldn't think of a better place for it

"A standard flight
Beautiful weather with light turbulence
No mechanical issues"
I'd write in my flight log an hour later

Then pulling from my pocket a slightly mangled daisy blossom

Laying it gently near the spine of the old hard backed logbook
Before closing it
Pressing the covers together firmly while wrapping it in a rubber band

I'd pulled the flower from a belly panel seam after I'd landed

A perfect little now-pressed memorial
From a perfect low level flying day