Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 55 > Page 86 - Bill MacRitchie and Early Flight

Page 86 - Bill MacRitchie and Early Flight

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/8/1 (146 reads)

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We strapped him in. Took off for Don? kin. And he put his head down. And he nev? er took his head up, till he landed! I flew around his house in Donkin--I knew exactly where it was. I said, "See your house. Bill." "Yeah, I see it. Yeah, yeah." "Come on. Bill, don't be such a chicken." "Yeah, I see it. Never mind me," he said. (And his head is down!) He never saw a thing! From the time we took off till he landed, he never saw anything. But in my life, in my flying life, I've had at least a dozen forced landings. Twice with German saboteurs, which put sugar in our gas. But that forced landing was very lucky. And that I attribute my being alive (to) the fact that because of the little hole-in-the-wall we had as a flying field in Reserve--! never (left the airport) without circling it, and gaining a little height. And I just had enough height to get back in the field. A dead-stick landing with no motor, see. Your height governs the distance you can glide if you have an en? gine failure, or gives you much more lati? tude in choosing an open spot. (At Reserve, you had always made a policy of doing that?) Always made a policy to get extra height. And to show you how vital it is, to this day. I had a friend, and he owned this Hydra Moth aircraft shortly af? ter the Second World War. He was from Syd? ney. He had to get his commercial license before he could get with Air Canada. But he had all the time and everything in. And so I said, "Yes, I'll go along." Because I was still fresh away from flying instruction, and. across country, working, whatever-- the whole deal. And, took off from the airport, that's what they call Sydney Airport now. It's still the same place as Dan MacMillan had.... The fellow that owned the flying field origi? nally at Reserve bought all that boggy area that was turned into an airport. Anyhow, this guy wanted to get his commer? cial license so he could join Air Canada. 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Cape Breton's Magazine
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