Can’t start without turning the magnetos on. Two switches with orange flashing lights in them. Then, the Mixture lever fully forward.
There was only one part of the panel that I understood. The black button. Beneath a label marked Start. I lived to press that button. Dad often let me do the honours.
The way the cockpit threw itself left and right as the propeller spun. Windows rattling in their frames. The prop was a lot heavier than it looked.
One. Two. Three.
The floor and walls had gaps in between. I realised that I’ll be pulled through the sky in a loose metal shell.
Waiting anxiously at the beginning of the strip, wondering for how much longer. I wasn’t privy to the mysterious language of the grown ups.
Suddenly, Dad threw the black lever forward, and the grass whipped by underneath us.
The plane leaned forward. A couple of seconds later, the ground dropped away.