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Old 13th Nov 2018, 00:52
  #25 (permalink)  
Loose rivets
Psychophysiological entity
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 80
Posts: 4,724
After many nights of flying to Spain in the bad old days with no radar, I found my young co-pilot self in the middle of one heck of a storm. Thrown out the tops, and falling back into the flashing mess, we twice went below the safety heigh for the mountains. Many times the horizon bar hid behind the curtains, and one 20 minute leg took 45 minutes. I couldn't believe it when my skipper said we'd better hurry as we were so late. Blood and sick had to be cleaned off the cabin roof. I planned shoving over to the east but we were soon in it again. We popped out into fantastic clear skies near Toulouse, but it was then we had a 4" hole blown through the right wing. It went around the fuel and out in line with the opposite hole.

The skipper had asked me to fly and had just flicked his Zippo lighter as the bang happened. The image of his staring eyes still makes me laugh.

So, it had its lighter moments. (sorry)

Anyway, it was the next night that a bW$%^ great bolt hit the ground as I was driving to LHR. I chickened out. I don't think I've ever admitted this before, but that's what I did. I went sick.

I gave myself a good talking to about how long it had taken me to get to this point, and was I going to give up now, kind of conversation. Next night, back in it, but with a new determination that seemed to last the next decades. Of course, having radar and being two miles higher helped.
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