Just Another Day At The Flying Field

18 Jul

 A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

A friend called the other day asking me to meet him at our model airplane flying field to help him with one of his planes.  He was in remission from cancer and had not flown for some time. The last time he tried to fly he passed out on the field and woke up in the hospital. Now, he wanted someone there in case anything happened again.  It was a beautiful day with just a hint of a breeze right down the runway.  He unloaded his plane and all the gear needed to setup his large electric powered model.

The first thing he noticed was that the three batteries he had charged for the occasion did not have the right connector on them to mate up with the airplane electronics.  He looked in his support bag for the adapters that would solve that problem, but couldn’t find them.  “I must have left them at home” he said.  Then he discovered the battery with the correct connector was still in the plane, but he had not thought to look for it in there, so he could charge it for this trip to the field.  This prompted another search in the support bag for the battery analyzer to see if that battery had enough juice left in it to fly the plane.  Finally he said with disgust, “I must have left that thing at home too.”  But, when he plugged the battery into the on-board flight system, the system “beeped” with a response that indicated “I’m ready to go.”

So, he decided to fire up his new computer radio system to see if the on-board battery had enough charge left for a flight, and broke out his radio control transmitter.  When he couldn’t get the transmitter to show him the correct model information on the display screen, he had to refer to his radio control system manual to look up the proper procedure to set up the radio for the model he had brought to the field.  Every time he thought, he had the right sequence, it would be for the wrong airplane and he would have to start over.

At this point I suggested it might be better if we tried another day when he had time to get everything working properly.  But, he wasn’t ready to give up an opportunity to fly, and this went on for about 10 or 15 minutes.  Finally, he came up with the proper sequence, and when activated, the motor sounded as if it had plenty of battery power, and we were ready to put the wing on and give it a try.  He decided the rubber bands that had been on the wing were old and questionable, so, rather than take a chance, it was back to the support bag for fresh rubber bands.  These he did have, and now all was in readiness for the flight we had come to the field for.

He taxied the plane out onto the south end of the runway to get the feel of the controls.  When he said he was ready to take off, I said, “The wind is out of the south, you need to start from the other end of the runway.”  Would you believe he took that plane off, did a nice slow circuit of the flying field, and brought it back in for a perfect landing?  He said, “I think I’ll call it a day.  Thanks for your help.  Any day I can take my plane home in one piece is a good day.


He obviously felt good about his success and so did I. I hoped that if I ever experienced that kind of devastating illness I would possess the positive attitude, the faith, and the stamina to persevere as he had done.



I Thessalonians 5:18

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