Enter all the details of your flight into your logbook. All pilots must do this to record their flight schedule. It is also good to note the amount of mail exchanged at each stop, the condition of the ship, and personal expenses.
Your airplane comes to a bouncy stop. You check the clock on the instrument panel. You are ahead of schedule, landing at 12:25 p.m. It is lunchtime, but you must see to your airplane before you can take a break. It feels great to stretch after sitting in that rattling, noisy, windy cockpit for over 3 hours and 285 miles!
"Welcome back to North Platte!" shouts Mechanic Mike in greeting. "How was the first leg of your flight?"
"No complaints, the airplane ran steady," you reply, "but I almost had a run-in with a pesky flock of birds!"
"None hit you, I hope. I will give the airplane a good look over since you are doing well on time," says Mike.
"That would be grand. Oh, and double check the tail skid, it felt like it took a big bump on the landing strip."
You wave to Patrick, the postal clerk, who is approaching the airplane with a 15 pound sack of mail. You say,
"Good afternoon Patrick, there is a 30 pound sack on the top of the pile that should go to your post office."
Patrick asks you to accompany him to the post office and to lunch. "Oh no, I forgot my lunch," says Mike,
"Would you please bring me a turkey sandwich? I will owe you!" With the mail sacks exchanged, you and Patrick leave Mike to inspect the airplane.
In town at the post office, Patrick sorts the sack of mail from your airplane. He directs it on to the next delivery point.
Talk at the lunch counter focuses on the weather. The almanac writes that there will be heavy snows this season. It will be a challenge getting the mail and your airplane through that snow, but at least today is cold and sunny. After you pay 80¢ for two turkey sandwiches and 3¢ for a glass of milk, Patrick drives you back to the airfield.
In the office, you hear reports over the Post Office Department's radio network that the weather is clear through Cheyenne, but airfields farther to the west are experiencing heavy snowfall. The weather should hold for your next 3 hour leg. It is time to get back into the air.
"Hi Mike, how's the ship looking?" you ask as you approach the airplane.
"The ship looks solid. The radiator did not need any water, but I put a pint of oil in the engine, tightened the screws on the tail skid and filled the main tank with 97 gallons of gas," Mike says while wiping the grease from his hands. "Are you ready for me to turn the propeller?"
Climbing into the cockpit you reply, "Sounds good, just give me another five minutes while I write in my logbook. I am hoping to takeoff by 1:30p.m."
» Pages from Pilot Max Miller's flight logbook
Continue the story:
» Leg 3: Forced Landing
» Review This Activity's Classroom Objectives, Subjects & Age Level