Tonight I remembered why I fell in love with flying. The skies were beautiful with the sun setting on the horizon, breathtakingly peaceful. I’m controlling an airplane at 3,000’ and below, practicing maneuvers I haven’t done in ages. It feels good again. I’m remembering and performing each task asked of me. I look around at the beautiful terrain beneath me and smile. I’m back indeed!
I walked out to the ramp to begin my preflight on the Champ. I reached up to run my hand along the wing, and it gave under the light touch of my fingers. I sucked in my breath and exclaimed, “It’s fabric!” I admired it and was in awe of the feel of it. My face must have shown my amazement, as my instructor laughed at me with my first encounter with a truly original style fabric covered plane.
It’s an Aeronca Champ built in 1945.
Grabbing my flight bag from the truck; I slung it over my shoulder and closed the door. Turning I stopped and looked at the FBO, took a depth breath and smiled. I’m back; after two years away, I’m finally back to train again.
From the moment the helicopter lifted off the pad, my heart was filled with excitement. It’s the same feeling I get when an airplane achieves rotation speed and becomes airborne. You feel it in your stomach, it pushes down through you and almost immediately you can feel your rump lift slightly off the seat, and then you settle back down gently. You can tell you’re airborne just by how it feels, you don’t need your eyes to know it.