poems gigs misc. why don't you EMdC home
Loop The Loop

It's quite a cloudy day
and the pilot's passenger,
an experienced flying instructor,
doubts whether this is the day
he will have his first
aerobatic experience.

The pilot who's taking him up
just wants it to work and
tries his best to make it happen;
he checks the instruments,
checks their belts
and flies them both up to the glen.

To enter the manoeuvre,
he dives for extra speed
filling the view from the cockpit canopy
with the largening loch below,
he applies back pressure,
increasing the power
and pulls the plane up where
there's more and more sky to be seen.

Compensating for loss
of aileron control,
he flies up on beyond vertical
(the cloud is approaching them fast)
he uses the right rudder
counteracting p-factor
and inevitable loss of speed
on ascent to the top of the loop.

To get this right
he has to keep it tight
and not take it up too high,
carefully he balances
the stronger pull of gravity
with the weakening centrifugal force.

Fifteen degrees from the
crest of the curve,
watching the horizon and
the ground above their heads
he slackens off the controls
and keeps the loop round, so round!

At the top, the apogee,
there at the zenith
the wheels of the plane
just brush the hazy edge
of the grey cloud base,
before arc-ing smoothly
back into the blue

where he's holding the shape
using the left rudder
to keep the plane straight
while they accelerate on descent
cutting back on power
for just the right g-force
to close the loop the loop.

Where the air is one blank page,
clouded at the margins,
edged by mountains,
they describe a perfect circle.

And then on the ground once again,
the passenger and pilot tell
how far that exceeded
their initial expectations
and more, that they'll always
remember that flight

into the open
& opening sky
& holding the space
like a dream.

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