Triplane Builder

Poems by Triplane Builder - William (Bill) Woodall

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With lots of 'aeroplanes'--- buzzing 'bout the sky,
Our only way of staying safe was "keep a roving eye".

Instruction from the front seat was given loud and clear;
"If you see something I don't see-- shake the stick-- so both can peer!"

Sitting under our upper wing, his upward view--in doubt;
This trainer spinning down on us-- might fit, what he'd spoke about.

Anyway, I rocked the stick and pointed up above,
He whirled and glanced--then took control--the throttle took a shove.

A vertical turn was then employed and we quickly closed the space;
He was out to show these other guys; we weren't the plane to chase!

Once he'd flown a fighter-- and he hated this new role;
This teaching primary's, raw cadets was eating at his soul.

"Dog fights" did get mentioned in the course rules that we used,
"That all cadets caught doing them---permanently excused!"

Well, both these planes held officers, and both were out to show,
That when it came to chasing tails--the other's skill was low.

He kept that yellow fuselage, just yards beyond our prop!
Sky and ground kept merging; and they did it without a stop!

The roaring of the engine, and the screaming of the wires;
Made me wonder what I'd started, when I lit this warrior's fires.

Forced; then flung; then shoved aside-as the "G" loads changed their place;
My hands stayed near a ring called "D" and my lap belt---just in case!

Finally, tiring of the game,-- we calmly flew away;
Returned control to my woozy eyes, without a word to say.

There never was a comment when we did our post-flight talk.
It was as if it never happened!-- his textbook Stearman stalk.

I was sure the other dual would be keeping quiet too,
But I'll bet they worked on "clearing turns"--the next time that they flew!

Bill Woodall

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