Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 55 > Page 81 - Bill MacRitchie and Early Flight

Page 81 - Bill MacRitchie and Early Flight

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/8/1 (161 reads)

Now, when you started to learn to fly, the elementary thing would be to fly straight and level. You'd take off--feel the con? trols along with the instructor--the rud? ders, the rudder bars, and the stick, joy? stick, as they call it. You'd feel that as you took off. But you wouldn't really--he wouldn't allow you to do that yourself. You'd move along with him. And it was so-- still to this day in flying instruction-- the communication has got to be absolute? ly- -you have to understand, both the pilot and the instructor, they have to under? stand what is going on. So they had to re? peat --the old saying was repeat twice down the speaking tube, whatever he had to say. And he would repeat it. So there was no mix-up in the speaking. So, you'd have to repeat after him, any? way, that "I have control," so he'd say, "I have control." Or "You have control." and he'd have to repeat it after you. It was very, very sensible, but it was also-- it had to do with the safety at that time. Primitive, primitive tube. (That's how the two of you talked to each other in the place.) Yeah. It was very primitive. And if you stalled, with those aircraft, your time to recover with the low power-- you only had 80-horsepower engines--if you stalled, you wouldn't have enough pow? er. . .to recover. If you had enough height to get yourself out of a dive. If you stall with an aircraft, the first thing that happens is the nose drops. And it would take time to get your flying speed up again. And if the ground is too close. that's it--game over. So this is all--this all had to be very, very carefully done. Anyhow, you'd get through the elementary flying, you were straight and level--keep your nose on the horizon and the wings lev? el with the--the horizon was everything, see. And then you'd learn to make turns. Like slight turns, then steep turns, over on your wingtip. Then you'd learn landings and takeoffs. And then you'd start to do spins--and it was compulsory. Spins. See, when the aircraft stalls and the nose drops, if you kick on left rudder and pull back on the stick, the aircraft will spin-- they still will, no matter what kind of an aircraft. And you have to recover, because --that was one of the big killers in war? time, and even after. Spinning was a--that was it. Some of them never came out of them--just spun right in. (How would you practice spinning? You would....) Have to do it. What you do is get up about 4 or 5 thousand feet. And then you would ease back on the stick-- throttle back. You could spin with the mo? tor full on--it doesn't matter. Once you lose your flying speed, then you're ready for a spin. And your ailerons out on the wings--the things that cause the aircraft to move up and down laterally. If you be? gin to lose the feel--that you can take the stick and go like this--you have to look out because you're right in quite a stall then. And the old saying--you've heard this saying about "flying by the seat of your pants"? You become part of the aircraft. You can feel that. You can "TL Blue Heron Gift Shop r'' Boolts • Glassware • Figurines • Woodenware • Crystal j' Gifts for All Occasions AJL baddeck, N. S. 295-3424 "Cape Breton's Oldest Charter Business" ~ on the Road to Beinn Bhreagh ~ Baddeck Catamaran SALES • SERVICE • RENTALS & CHARTERS HOBIE 295-3318 Catamarans ''' '''''' '' 'o"' Lakeview Dining Returns to Baddeck featuring: Live Scottish Entertainment Call The Silver Dart Lodge for details (902) 295-2340 Diistkdown 0iftShop Welcome to Jewellery and Scottish Imports Cape Breton Souvenirs J.OLIari (902)295-2881 Manager Box 592, Baddecit, N. S. BOE 1 BO [ 37 Rooms • 10 Efficiency Rooms ] • :'- OPEN ALL YEAR Shore Road, BADDECK 295-2195 Baddeck: on Highway 105 and the Cabot Trail
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download