An Uh Oh Moment in the Air By Kurt Strauss

April 18, 2016

This was written as part of a weekly creative writing class taught at The Oaks of Louisiana by Harriet Daggett.

Kurt StraussAt one time in the past, I lived and worked in Milwaukee, Wis.  I was not married and had plenty of spare time over the weekends.  After a demonstration ride I had enrolled with an aviation school at the airport.  After, in due time I made my first solo flight.  I was now able to practice aviation maneuvers without an instructor at my side.  The day after the solo flight I piloted an Aeronca Aircraft into the designated practice area near Lake Michigan.  I completed a number of maneuvers such as stalls and recovers, climbing turns and figure eight flying.  Then what do I see in the medium distance, is that not the Wisconsin  Air National Guard flying formation flying straight toward me? I was paralyzed by fright and all I could do was to hold my altitude and flight directions while gripping tightly to the stick.  It was the correct maneuver because I had seen them and they had seen me. They dipped and flew right below me, as they passed me it felt as if a giant with a sledge hammer had pounded on the bottom of my plane. The door flew open and I had a wonderful view of the ground below. That was certainly an uh oh moment!  After they had passed, I regained my composure and reached over and closed the door and decided I had practiced enough for this day. I returned to the airport and landed safely.  Then I had to use my other hand to release my fingers from the stick.