Triplane Builder

Poems by Triplane Builder - William (Bill) Woodall

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Long Finals At Akron

One thing, as a pilot, that I've really liked to do,
Is to give first rides to people who never ever flew.
I want to make them converts, maybe even yearn to fly.
So I'm careful of the weather-want it calm, for their first try.
I once took up a little boy, (his father shared my shift),
The BC twelve D (Taylorcraft) was chosen for his gift.
The flight was in the evening and the air was very still;
We circled over the lakes he knew-- his eyes revealed his thrill.
Too soon for him, we made our way-- to the start place of this fling,
Approaching for our downwind--- I waggled with our wing.
A crackle in my earphones-knew the tower'd done its chore.
"T-Craft two six three is number one, for runway, uh, two four".
We only had a headset, no way to call our need.
But the tower people saw, and knew, and told us what to heed.
I made my turn to final, and was gliding for a spot,
When the tower shouted in my ear-(he seemed almighty hot)!
"Two six three!-- three sixty RIGHT-- and I'll have you do it NOW"!
I poured on power and steeply banked-(how in hell'd I cause this row?)
My passenger-ecstatic-as we whirled so near the ground;
Got a great view of the Rubber Bowl and also Derby Downs.
When I rolled us out on final---pulled the power for my glide,
The tower cleared us now to land--- he was after someone's hide!
Ahead along the runway, I could see a braking plane;
Red Aldis light reflecting-- from his right hand window pane.
As I turned us from the runway, and taxied for the ramp,
My earphones crackled once again, (my underarms were damp).
It seemed a Beech Bonanza, was landing without call--
Was above, behind and dropping fast-we'd have rolled up in a ball!
He said the other pilot-- was in a world of hurt,
Thanked me for my fast response-regretted being curt.
I didn't tell my passenger, and I didn't tell his dad,
No point to spoil an evening with what might have been so bad.

Bill Woodall

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