Aerobatics at DRBJ’s Fokk University
In Honor of DRBJ
Just like in the WWII movies, the small Cessna screamed spinning vertically towards the ground, turning around and around itself on its own axis. Its nose seemed determined to hit a very specific spot on the ground, a spot that Louis could not quite see from where he was standing, though he was not really particular as to the exact spot where the plane would crash and disintegrate. Business was bad and he could do with the insurance money, but he was still sweating as he counted turns and after the third turn,
“KOLOPAIDA!!!” he screamed the Greek word for “ARSE-HOLES!”.
Immediately after the fifth turn, just one hundred feet from the ground, the aircraft came out of its spin and flew in perfect straight and level format.
Louis was both relieved at avoiding the bad publicity of seeing himself plastered in all the newspapers next morning as the owner of the only flying school the Fokk University’s branch in Cyprus, and disappointed at loosing the insurance money.
“These two young shits will be the death of me” he said to his mechanic who was smiling quietly to himself.
Inside the aircraft Tom Culpepper was laughing delightedly, with a pleasure that he could only feel after one of these maneuvers. Oded Giveon sitting next to him yawned with meaning, while looking out of the window on his side of the tiny airplane.
“You shit!” Tom said still laughing. “You turned away just before I started the maneuver and admired the weather out of the window. I could have killed us and you would have known nothing about it!”
“Whoa, Genius, doing the stall-spin a few times doesn’t make you a Top Gun.” Oded yawned again affably. He was a man of equable temperament. “I was staring at the right wing and I could see every move you made that way.” He deigned to laugh this time.
“Ah.” Tom was too happy to feel embarrassed or to quibble. He simply enjoyed the adrenaline forcing the blood to parts of his body of which he had not previously been aware. “Let’s do it again.”
“You promised to buy lunch.”
“One more time and we’ll go for lunch.” When Oded nodded, Tom began to climb up to five thousand feet once more.
On reaching the right height, at straight and level flight, Tom pulled the throttle completely back and the airplane flew without power. Gradually he pulled the nose up until the stall warning sounded insistently. Tom glanced at Oded who smiled his agreement and Tom pulled the stick even further back, despite the now screaming emergency siren, deliberately stalling the aircraft and at the same time slamming his left foot on the left rudder pedal.
The plane jerked to the left and then gracefully turned over and its nose ended up facing the ground, while turning at the same time. For Tom the feeling was exhilarating. To him, it was not the plane turning, but the earth itself going round and round while it rushed up at him. The G forces on his arms and hands holding the stick made them heavy as lead and he could not move them even if he wanted to, so they kept in place by themselves. He felt the skin on his face going back on itself in waves and he began to count the turns. One, two, three -and three was the point at which he was supposed to come out of the spin, but Oded had showed him how to wait. Four, five and opposite rudder down, the right foot trying to drill a hole through the airplane floor with the right rudder pedal this time, the move bringing the craft our of the spin. Tom made the rudder pedals even and then let go of the stick, the plane’s shape and momentum ensuring a perfect straight and level flight for a few minutes even without engine power. When the speed indicator showed the ground speed to go below 110 miles, Tom pushed the lever forward until the speed went up to 120. He roared with the laughter of undiluted pleasure.
Landing at the small air-field was an adventure in itself. There were two runways, one going south to north and another one east to west, but Louis had run out of money after asphalting the south to north runway. The problem was that ninety percent of the time the wind came from the west, so to land safely on asphalt, the small planes would always have to do a crosswind landing, which was good experience for the pilots, but one that ensured the necessity of acquiring a very high level of skill. Tom came in from the south and as soon as he was past the high voltage electricity pylon crossing his path, he pulled back the throttle and put the nose down, watching the speedometer. At 80 miles per hour, he pressed left rudder and turned the stick in the opposite direction, so that the aircraft was falling towards the ground on its left wing, into the wind, while the nose of the craft pointed somewhere to the north-east. In this strange and ungainly posture the plane was kept in line with the runway, against the power of the wind and just a second before touching the ground, Tom straightened the aircraft allowing the left rear wheel to touch the ground first and simultaneously turned the nose to face the end of the runway. He slowly allowed the second rear wheel to touch the ground and then the nose wheel. It was a perfect crosswind landing, the result of learning to fly from that particular airfield.
Tom parked the airplane and they both jumped out, only to face Louis.
“How many times do I have to tell you? I will not have more than three spins! You will kill yourselves and I shall have to do a lot of explaining and a lot of paper work and I don’t like paper work.”
“Come on, Louis, why is it OK when YOU do it, then?”
“First of all because it’s MY Fokking airplane and second of all, because if I don’t come out of the spin I shan’t have to give anyone any explanations and I shan’t have to fill fifty different forms in triplicate. Now hand over the money and Fokk off.”
Tom paid the temperamental Greek with a smile. He was used to Louis’ moaning by now and knew that the insults were not meant to be taken seriously.
“Let’s go to Larnaca for lunch” he said to Oded.
"Fokk U Louis!" They both said in unison.
The above is an extract from the De Greek Novel, but we Great Authors feel the need to publish this here in honor of the brilliant DRBJ, whose humor is only exceeded by her intelligence and if you have not read her Hub ‘Fokk University’ you have missed a very clever piece of work. I urge you to go correct the omission forthwith.
Fokk U, DRBJ!