Triplane Builder

Poems by Triplane Builder - William (Bill) Woodall

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First Flight

The genes I got from mother's side had always given pause.
A penchant to be motion sick was no help to my cause.

Since the axes used in flying would give this flaw full vent,
I was very apprehensive as to what this weakness meant.

The folk-lore of the cadet corps was rife with tales of woe,
'Bout the way that most instructors, chose dominance to show.

How they'd acquaint their students-- with what this plane could do.
By doing acrobatics while the "crew" was very new.

This practice (known as "wringing out") was done to show who's boss,
And usually kept on going 'til some "cookies" got the toss.

When came my turn for first ride, I was wound up really tight.
Feared I'd be scrubbing cockpits when we finished with the flight.

I was puzzled when we didn't climb-- to several thousand feet;
We just plugged above the country-- to a flat and grassy sheet.

"Keep both feet upon the rudder, and your right hand on the stick",
"Try to feel what I am doing as I talk us through this trick".

Talked about our downwind turn; with the engine idled down,
Talked to me as we made a flare--- a few feet from the ground.

He talked to me as the stick came back, and the tires began to roll;
We made a couple of gentle skips, as the wings gave up control.

"I've got it now" is what he said--- and the throttle moved away,
We lifted off from a "touch and go"-- was shocked by what he'd say!

"That wasn't a bad landing-- that last one that you made",
"Wasn't even on the stick;--- I think you'll learn this trade".

Could've been toppled by a feather-- as my pride began to swell;
(The next one that he talked us through, didn't turn out near as well).

So instead of checking stomachs, by cavorting through the sky;
Began (for him) the business--of teaching me to fly.

Bill Woodall

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