Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Beyond the Clouds

Dear All,

Apologies for the delay in answering Geeta's note. The weather closed in at Lossiemouth and I've been stuck up there for days. Then they had the nerve to send me back on one of the ghastly night trains. Freezing cold, pitch black, moving along at a snail's pace ...

The night trains are the opposite of flying. Geeta asked how it felt when I first took control of a plane. Was I scared? Excited, I think. I had been absolutely desperate to get in the air, but Daddy (Leo), forbade it. Of course, I wasn't going to put up with that. I gave French lessons to earn the cash to bally well pay for the lessons myself.

Perhaps if you've been fortunate enough to travel by aeroplane, you know the joy one feels the moment one breaks through the clouds? Dear Magee's poem gives you a taste of how it feels for a pilot. We aren't actually meant to fly beyond the clouds in the ATA - we're meant to fly in sight of land at all times, but ... sometimes there is little choice. Look at Amy. The planes we fly aren't fitted with what they call 'the finer elements' - radios, arms. If you get caught out by the weather or the enemy, you are on your own.

Perhaps what I love most about flying is this - the freedom, the sheer bliss of being in the air. A plane doesn't care how old you are, or what sex you are. Virginia (step-monster), delights in telling me I am too young to do this or that, or I can't do something because I'm a girl. Phooey. A good pilot is a good pilot - it's as simple as that.

Must dash. I've just seen Teddy storming down the corridor with a chit in his hand ...

Yours ever,

Evie x 

Ps the darling film the Beeb made will tell you more about what it's like for us to fly.

1 comment:

  1. These are just wonderful--please don't stop!


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