Michael McCafferty - European Biplane Tour

How To Double The Fun Of A Spitfire Ride

Duxford, England

Late yesterday afternoon I learned that my Spitfire ride, scheduled for today, was going to be postponed for a couple of days. So instead of spending the day in a high euphoric state, I dragged my disappointed self over to the airport and generally moped around.

The weather was perfect for my mood. Overcast, with a strong gusting wind, over 20 knots most of the time. My weather senses tell me that the winds are bringing in another front, a big one this time. I'm getting the distinct feeling that the summer is drawing to a close. I don't want to dwell on that thought for very long.

The airport was very quiet today. The DeHavilland Rapide which I flew in a few days ago blew a gasket and was grounded for repairs, disappointing others in their search for a memorable aviation experience.

I spent some time with my biplane, puttering about in the baggage compartment and rearranging some charts and equipment. Before I left, I turned the plane around on the grass, facing into the increasing wind, and put some chocks under the wheels for the first time since I've been here.

I sat at a picnic table reading a flying novel for a couple of hours, the wind continually blowing cooler and wetter air eventually forcing me to pack up and head back to the hotel.

As in Business, or Life, Flying has its Disappointments as well as its Joys. The only course is to look through the disappointments to the coming joy. I will fly a Spitfire, and it will be soon.

As I write this, I am trying to find the way to look at this situation in a positive manner, and it finally comes to me: Anticipation of a pleasurable event is supposed to be half the fun of it. Therefore, by delaying the event a few more days, I have been given the great gift of even more anticipation!

Meanwhile, it's a great day to do my laundry...

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