Dreams of Flying
We bank to the right, a sweeping curve flying away from the airfield. Small flecks of ice float through the cockpit.
We fly up at a sharp angle, I feel a pressure pushing against me, then we level off.
Pilot: That’s’ 2 G’s?
At 4 G’s my helmet is heavy on my head, making it hard to move. I feel the flight suit tighten against my body, holding me, keeping my blood and organs in place.
Pilot: Let’s try a loop.
We go up, climbing, further, and further. I breathe into the mounting pressure, as we curve in on ourselves until we reach the top &… fall backwards, flying down, our bodies describing a perfect circle in the sky.
Pilot: Everything OK?
In the briefing I expressed my eagerness to try this manoeuvre. The Pilot said he would show it to me again and again so that I could learn the Hammer. So I would come to know what sort of hammer it was…
Straight up. Vertical. My flight suit fully inflates against the pull and compression - I constrict my stomach, as advised. I can no longer move my head. Flying sheer. Velocity to gravity has to be exactly right before the engines can cut out.
We’re in stasis. Nothing but blue. I am completely weightless. I do not feel light - this implies a sense of gravity. It’s as if we’re floating, but not, there’s no pressure on my body. I just sit in this moment in the sky.
We go straight up, through the sky.
Pilot: I would like to show you inverted flight
We invert and my body loses contact with the plane. I hang by my straps with bits of rubber jiggling on the clear canopy that separates my head from the river, houses and land above. We hurtle along like this for a while. It feels ludicrous and I laugh out loud.
Once out of the cockpit I feel elated, my only regret is that I didn’t take the controls. I think to myself that in another life I could have been a fighter pilot…