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Showing posts from August, 2009

Flying - Passion for wings

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I am not sure of the Wright brothers, but i certainly got my passion for flying from the Puranas. Hindu mythology is stuffed with tales about heroes and villans, who flew at will and thrill, before going for the kill. The Mahabharata and the Ramayana tell us a lot about the Vimanas, about men and women who flew them with elan, about people who could fly over mountains or soar across the oceans.

The Bed time stories narrated by my father had sown the seeds of passion for flying at a very tender age. For instance, I still remember him re-living the Ramayana, where the biggest hijack of those times is depicted when Ravana staged a kidnap (a..la...Entebee!) and flew with Sita in his stolen flying machine - the Pushpaka Vimana.While my brother and I would listen to the narration - spell bound, our thoughts behind the awesome incident were different. While he would have probably related to the emotional aspects of the kidnap (or maybe the literary aspects, for he is a poet) my thoughts were …

Flying - Remote Control (RC) Models

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RC (Remote Control Flying)

In spite of being an ardent aeromodeller and even spending hours and hours up in the air on gliders, I used to be a terrified flyer. Terrefied, not because of the fear of flying, but because of the fact that someone else is piloting the plane!

You see, it is like driving a car. Even today, the most tense moments of my life are spent either at the co driver seat or the rear seat of a car, while it is being chauffered (especially if the chauffer happens to be my wife!). The nuances and response of the vehicle to our actions are imbibed into my system and that is what makes the drive or flight, tense. If I happened to be seated at the window of a plane, the flap postions and landing gear retraction times during approaches and take offs used to give me nightmares. Similarly turbulence during the approach and porposing on the final, used to make my heart skip a few beats. Not because I do not know what needs to be done to over come these situations if I am at the c…
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Airborne Alone (First Solo)

7 Long months from that late summer afternoon in 1981, when i sat in the co pilot seat of the Towline Neon Baby (the most trusted glider of yester years - why, even today), my instructor at the pilot seat, gliding over the lovely city of Coimbatore, the enormous skyline of the Nilgiris on the horizon, I remember saying - This is Incredible!, what could be better ?

Later on, I did discover something that was - My first solo!

I had enjoyed the rides with the Captain at the helm, on that sleek beauty, for several months.I had everything going right for me during training, but was stunned when he walked up to me one Sunday and said "Enough of Piggy backing on me kid, you are going up alone the Sunday after next". I was too dazed to react and by the time I had gathered myself up to respond - He was Gone !

The next few days, were the most traumatic times in my life. Every time I closed my eyes to catch a few winks of sleep, disastrous flight sequences would…