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> Issue 55 > Page 87 - Bill MacRitchie and Early Flight

Page 87 - Bill MacRitchie and Early Flight

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/8/1 (175 reads)

They had already okayed it; he had his medical and everything. We took off, and I was with him. And they do what they call a reg? ular circuit, which is take off, climb to 500 feet, turn left or right-- whichever cir? cuit's in force. Anyway, then you turn left, and you climb to 1200 feet, to where you're downwind of the lake--come in and land. But when a fellow's going through for his license, there's an inspector from the government on the field. And he has a flag, and he marks off an area where you have to land within those limits-- that is, land and stop. So he took off, this fellow. And he went away up, and away over. We got away over where there was a bunch of trees and stumps and rocks--we couldn't possibly have landed anywhere. I pulled back on the throttle. And he looked at me. I wanted to see what he'd do. I said, "Where would you have landed if we had to go down?" "Nowhere," he guessed. Rocks, trees. We would have been hurt, at the least. And I said, "Now, when you get off at 500 feet, don't go a mile away from civilization and a chance to save your own skin, and become an old pilot like I am." I said, "I'll take her over now.... Get the maximum amount of height in the shortest time. And then, go downwind, keeping within range of your airport--at least the grass strip. If not the runway, at least something that's level and, won't get killed." So he took off (again). I was watching him. He turned, 500 feet--kept within the range. I said, "That's great." Okay, about halfway down, I said (for practice), "The inspector just dropped his flag. You've got to land now. Pull back on your throttle." You don't shut your engine off, you just pull it back I Left: Bill MacRitchie during the Second World War. He was a I group captain commanding flying crews. Above: with a student, beside a plane called the Fairy Battle. I and you give it a little burst every so of- I ten to make sure the engine doesn't cool I off too much on you, have a real forced landing. And he brought her in and he put right down and landed. I said, "That's very good. Now remember what I told you, and you'll make it all right." No problem at all. He got his Air Canada--a captain in the Air Canada eventually.... He was from the Pier in Sydney, Pier area, Ashby. But that's the nuts and bolts of the mat? ter, is to stay alive. We used to say, "There's no old bold pilots. There's just old pilots!" (You were saying now that Sydney didn't have--we call it the Sydney Airfield....) Yeah. It has no real connection with Syd? ney at all.... But why they call it Syd- ney Airport! Because Restaurants • Seafood • Crafts Visit our newly expanded premises. Enjoy delicious food and the breathtaking view of St. Ann's Bay. Full menu selection offered. (Visa, Master Card, American Express accepted) Open 7 a.m. to10 p.m. Fully Licensed Trans Canada Highway at St. Ann's, Exit 11, Cabot Trail 295-3100 O Member of Taste of Nova Scotia Suppliers of Commercial Recreational Fencing p. 0. 80x98. King St., North Sydney, N. S. B2A3M1 794-4773 nnGEL 'Sufifiit' "HAVE OUR AUGER TRUCK DIG YOUR HOLES." Ron May Pontiac 147 Prince Street Sydney 539-6494 1 PONTIAC TOlTITr 1 JDjiLji. Coniinupifs Picrtttclion PICMI fcl m Hawkesbury Pontiac CMC TRUCKS 46 Paint Street Port Hawkesbury 625-3280 FRONT END ALIGNMENT ~ AIR CONDITIONING SPECIALISTS NEW & USED - SALES -- SERVICE - LEASING -- DAILY RENTAL
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