Your helmet rests under your
left arm, where you walk next to your instructor.
He doesn't talk either, because this is your day.
Only wrinkles of joy dance around his eyes, because
he also remembers such a day...
You strap in. You grin like a royal monkey.
The ground crew member gives you a funny look
when he helps you strap in - maybe he thinks you're
a bit crazy...
You don't care, because you're the most privileged
lunatic in the world!
Your helmet is passed to you, and as you pull
it over your ears, the outside noises are shut
Just like the past week in the simulator you do
the cabin inspection from left to right:
old friends are touched, adjusted, tested.
You put your hand in the air, and make a circular
motion with you finger.
The technician pushes a switch and the jet-driven
Palouste starter explodes into a hysterical, bubbling
life at 25 500 rpm.
"Ready for port engine, major," you
hear over the intercom.
"Roger Sarge," you say, opening the
cover above the starter switch and pushing the
port engine's button.
The Palouste is shouting murder now at 34 500
rpm, but then the left Spey wakes up with a deep,
and when its life-flame starts a controlled hellfire
of 500 degrees Celsius,
its powerful rumble smothers the hysterical screaming
of the Palouste.
"Ready for starboard engine, major."
The process repeats and there the Buccaneer stands:
alive, eager, shivering like a racehorse.
The ground crew rummages like broody nurses under
the reborn machine
to disconnect all the umbilical cords of the power
supply, to the starter and the intercom;
they experience your hurriedness of you and your
machine to get in the air...
You taxi out on the taxi strip. The powerful
machine wobbles dignified on its short, thick
legs to the runway.
You do the takeoff checks. "Canopy closed,
cabin temperature set..." the last piece
On the runway you push open the twin throttles;
the engines' rumble gradually becomes a powerful
and in the rear-view mirror you see how the black
are bewilderdly thrown about in the tornado storming
from the engines.
"Release brakes. Full power," you say
The Buccaneer storms down the runway with the
gaping mouths of the Rolls-Royce Speys greedily
slurping up the air,
mixing it with fire and spitting it out the blackened
jet-pipes as thousands of galloping horsepower
thrust that pushes twenty metric tons of metal
into the air;
hungry-greedy like a thirst-racked animal storms
"Undercarriage up. Flaps up; aileron and
elevator moving in unison," you affirm to
The dull but definitive "CLUNK" of the
main wheels locking in the bays, goes like a shiver
through the fuselage
and it feels as if the Buccaneer is shaking its
feathers as it makes itself at home in its natural
environment - THE SKY.
You keep him near the ground. "Throttle
back, cruising power," you mutter to the
The thunder of the Speys fade to a restless murmur,
almost like a sigh of pleasure and satisfaction;
at last the three of us are back again where we
feel at home: in the air!
The terrain flashed by at seven nautical miles
a minute: trees, windmills, grasslands, hills,
and wrinkles of pleasure dance around your eyes
- pure pleasure - you are home again!