You are going to fly the mail!
Be sure to wear the proper clothes and gear.
superintendent has assigned you to fly the mail from Omaha, Nebraska
to Cheyenne, Wyoming in ship (another name for airplane) number
385. You go immediately to your prep room to dress properly. Remember
to pin on you number badge with pride – you are one of the
few daring and courageous airmail pilots.
is a clear day, October 15, 1923. You know that it will be very
cold flying up so high in an open-air cockpit.
and your mechanic inspect the airplane to make sure that it is ready
for the 6 to 7 hour flight. You review the map
for directions before taping it to the leg of your flight suit.
Then, you slip your personal flight
logbook into your pocket because you will need to
write down the details of your flight after you finish today's
work. With your gear on and airplane ready, you climb into the cockpit.
The airplane holds its precious airmail cargo – 284 pounds of
mail sacks. All looks
good for takeoff.
the airplane bumpily takes off into the blue sky, you are grateful
that you pulled on a lined, winter
flight suit over your jodhpurs, shirt and tie. The
suit keeps you very warm and dry. You observe the landscape below
and happily realize that your neck is free from chafing because
of the silk scarf
wrapped tightly under your fur collar. Even though a steady stream
of cold air blows all around you, your toes are toasty inside a
pair of fur lined boots
and your hands remain warm inside your gloves.
warning, a flock of birds flies directly in front of you. After
a bit of commotion, you pass them without injury. Luckily, you are
well protected with a leather helmet
firmly on your head, a leather mask
over your face, and a pair of goggles
covering your eyes. You feel able to face almost any emergency,
equipped with a toolkit, flares, pyrenes, and even the parachute
that you are sitting on, but which you hope that you will never
have to use.
check the compass, your map and look around. You realize that the
airfield in North Platte, Nebraska should be on the horizon. There
it is! North Platte is your regular, refueling station. It is also
a good place to stretch your legs and check the weather reports.
You start a gentle descent over the Union Pacific railroad track
and look over to the colorful fall trees along the river. You are
in position for landing.
Continue the story . . .
Leg 3: Forced Landing
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