Triplane Builder

Poems by Triplane Builder - William (Bill) Woodall

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Ground Loops

You can group tail-dragger pilots, (regardless of their skill)-
Those who've already done one-- and those who surely will!
For the layout of that airplane; (c.g. behind the mains)-
Exemplifies the basis that designs most weather vanes.
The light-hearted verbiage---coupled with the name,
Makes me think the first who did one- did the naming-(hid his shame).
For the conscious act of Looping needs the constant use of thought;
Shows that exercise and planning made the pattern that was sought.
Loops on the ground are different-no conscious work at all--
Just allow some drift while landing- at the moment of the stall.
So the tire that is to downwind, can't cope with all the slip,
Gets to sliding sideways when it loses forward grip.
The leaning of the airplane, toward the skidding tire,
Adds more weight to the equation "puts the fat into the fire".
The tilting downwind wingtip puts it closer to the ground,
May even feel some damage as the airplane slues around.
The initiating cross-wind adds its trump card to the fray,
Cocks the tail away to leeward -swings the nose the other away.
The inertia of the roll-out enters smartly in the swerve,
And if enough be present, "three sixtie"-- mark the curve.
The feeling of the pilot-who's no longer in command,
Far different from that "looper" in the sky above the land.
A "passenger"- unwilling- on this whirling earth-bound ride,
Set to be a "been there" veteran as he loses all his pride.
If anything is garnered from this humiliating spin--
It's he'll damn sure stop all drifting, next time he drops one in!

Bill Woodall

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