March 17, 1944
Brayton Flying Service
Class 44-I Flight D
I got to fly 35 minutes today. It rained yesterday and the ceiling was still too low this morning and then about 10:00 it started rising and we all only got 35 minutes each. I will fly with the chief instructor tomorrow and Saturday because my instructor is going to Alva to sell his airplane.
Last week someone stole his 1942 model Buick convertible and his insurance had run out. Isn’t that awful. This is the reason he is selling his plane because he has to have money to buy another car. I would sure be mad if someone stole my car. He seems to be a pretty nice fellow too.
Our planes cruise at 110mph and the max speed is a dive would be about 310 but it wouldn’t be safe to dive one over about 210 because the wings would pull off. I flew it myself quite a bit today of course he told me what to do. I sure hope the weather clears up tonight.
I am often brought back to this letter from my dad, because my son has been in flight school for the past year. He often talks about the ceilings, His instructors and their lives, and plane airspeed. I find comfort in the aviation conversations I have with my son, because it is like a piece of my dad! The picture above is a sweet picture of my Dad, and my youngest Steve- “flyboy with flyboy”.
Aviation is a tough gig. It takes a lot of time, money, persistence, patience, brain work and knowledge before one can become a pilot- and I commend the men and women who train for this. Back when Dad was training, as you might have seen from previous letters I have posted, they sent those guys out with very minimal hours and experience- which is why 1/3 of our pilots and planes were lost due pilot error during WWII. Nowadays they have really amped up the regulations- which I am happy about because it means I know my pilot knows his stuff and had to be very well trained before they let him behind the nose of my airplane!
So- to all those in the aviation field- It’s better to be on the ground wishing you were flying, then be flying and wishing you were on the ground.