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Thunder in the Tummy! The Hilarious Flying Adventures of a Private Pilot

Thunder in the Tummy! The Hilarious Flying Adventures of a Private Pilot

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Thunder in the Tummy! The Hilarious Flying Adventures of a Private Pilot

Länge:
224 Seiten
2 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jun 22, 2011
ISBN:
9781458091451
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

Do you look up at small airplanes as they fly overhead? Have you ever wondered what goes on in the cockpit? On the ground at a general aviation airport? In the minds of private pilots? THUNDER IN THE TUMMY! is a collection of the best of the best short stories which, during the latter part of the last millennium, were published in Pacific Flyer, Atlantic Flyer, American Aviator, Southern Aviator and on DIALOG!, the award-winning computer bulletin board.

What people are saying about THUNDER IN THE TUMMY!

THUNDER IN THE TUMMY! — The winner of the Squarfius Maximus Award for marvelous writing. “The book is hilarious, varied, insightful, entertaining and wholesome. It is also educational, but with a vengeance. A remarkable achievement.”
—Lorenzo Q. Squarf, Flamekeeper of Western Civilization
THUNDER IN THE TUMMY! — Better in the tummy than in the upholstery! It is great fun to read! Flying adventure with a riotous, literate, and self-effacing twist.”
—Mordecai Swiffle, the oldest living student pilot in the world

THUNDER IN THE TUMMY! — All women whose significant others are pilots should have lollypops in their purses at all times. Read this book and you will know why.”
—Squishalie Doodlebug Provolone, Significant Other
“Laugh out loud!” —Flying Farnsworth

“Absolutely delightful!” —Fearless Freddy

“I roared twice as much as the other guys!” —Multi-Engine McGoo

“I am thinking Pulitzer, maybe even a Nobel Prize!” —Anonymous, but sincere

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jun 22, 2011
ISBN:
9781458091451
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Joel Elman, a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned a Liberal Arts degree from Boston University; from there he attended Brown University Graduate School, believing that a Ph.D. in Russian would enable him to escape the gravitational pull of ignorance and poverty. He left Brown after completing his first year of advanced study, having made the stunning discovery that ignorance and poverty are not inextricably linked. Mr. Elman also concluded that the study of Old Church Slavonic, and the need to sound like one is gargling oysters in order to pronounce it correctly, was not relevant to modern life or his desire to pass himself off as an English gentleman. Mr. Elman then earned an MBA degree from Harvard Business School, and, like every other graduate in the history of that splendid institution, was informed by an anonymous official that he was in the top third of his class. His unfinished poem entitled “God Bless Harvard” has been under construction for the past 36 years. His post-graduate role in American industry as a dynamic executive is legendary, but irrelevant to his heroic flying adventures, and has been omitted to make space for his photo. A licensed pilot for over four decades, Mr. Elman owns and pilots his own airplane. Many of the short stories in this book previously appeared in major flying magazines, a number of which are listed on the back cover. If you have this book in your hands and are wondering whether you should buy it, let us urge you to splurge. If you don’t like the book, you can probably get your money back from the author who is sensitive about such things, thus creating a standard in the publishing world that not even the Bible has attained.

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Thunder in the Tummy! The Hilarious Flying Adventures of a Private Pilot - Joel Elman

Thunder in the Tummy!

The Hilarious Flying Adventures of a Private Pilot

SMASHWORDS EDITION

Published by Joel Elman at Smashwords

Copyright © 2011 by Joel Elman

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This work contains unique language and imagery, not to mention assorted astonishmentos concerning airplanes and the realm of flight. This work also contains exceptional literary techniques, a novel and superior philosophy of life, valuable commercial ideas, utterly original thoughts, unprecedentedly clear and correct use of the English language, and a number of brand new words that are proprietary. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form—by any electric, xerographic, electronic, chemical, photographic, mechanical, or other means—without permission in writing from the publisher.

In deference to human enlightenment, however, permission is hereby granted for the liberal use of verbal superlatives when discussing this book with individuals who have not yet purchased a copy.

PRINT EDITION

ISBN: 0-9706070-0-8

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 00-109440

Table of Contents

About the Author

Dedication

True Love

My First Flight

That Saved a Wretch Like Me

The Cat’s Name Was Max

A War Story

Airplanes Are Not People

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Beauty Ferry Ends Affair

The Truth About Naval Aviation

Birds, Bees and Airplanes

The Things That Happen!

Real Instrument Flight!

Articles of Faith

Ahoy, Landlubbers!

The Truth About Fly-Ins

Crash!

Emergency Landings!

Flying, The Real Thing

Engine Failure!

Formation Flying!

How To Be Famous

Golden Eggs

How to Be a Really Cool Pilot

Have Fun, But Keep It To Yourself

Gone With The Wind—Again

How to Crack Yourself Up

Star Trek, The Flight

Now Hear This!

Near Miss!

Lights, Camera…Crash!

How to Make Perfect Landings

Stories!

The Pow! Factor

The Master and the Apprentice

The Jedi Complex

The First Flight!

The Evolutionary Imperative of Flight

The Heart of the Matter!

The Eternal Questions

The Psychological Aspects of Flight

The Religious Experience

Where Angels Fear to Tread

What’s In a Name?

Weight and Balance!

We Can Fly Away

Variety for Fun and Proficiency

The Romance of Aviation

Thrill Seeking!

In Extremis

Crisis Management

Amazing Stuff

The Checklist

From The Ridiculous to The Sublime

For All Things There Is A Season

NOTICE TO ASSORTED ORGANIZATIONS AND PEOPLE

What people are saying about Thunder in the Tummy!

About the Author

Joel Elman, a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned a Liberal Arts degree from Boston University; from there he attended Brown University Graduate School, believing that a Ph.D. in Russian would enable him to escape the gravitational pull of ignorance and poverty. He left Brown after completing his first year of advanced study, having made the stunning discovery that ignorance and poverty are not inextricably linked. Mr. Elman also concluded that the study of Old Church Slavonic, and the need to sound like one is gargling oysters in order to pronounce it correctly, was not relevant to modern life or his desire to pass himself off as an English gentleman.

Mr. Elman then earned an MBA degree from Harvard Business School, and, like every other graduate in the history of that splendid institution, was informed by an anonymous official that he was in the top third of his class. His unfinished poem entitled God Bless Harvard has been under construction for the past 36 years.

His post-graduate role in American industry as a dynamic executive is legendary, but irrelevant to his heroic flying adventures, and has been omitted to make space for his photo.

A licensed pilot for over four decades, Mr. Elman owns and pilots his own airplane. Many of the short stories in this book previously appeared in major flying magazines, a number of which are listed on the back cover.

If you have this book in your hands and are wondering whether you should buy it, let us urge you to splurge. If you don’t like the book, you can probably get your money back from the author who is sensitive about such things, thus creating a standard in the publishing world that not even the Bible has attained.

Dedication

Aviation has enriched my life immeasurably. It is appropriate, therefore, that this book be dedicated to the men and women who fly airplanes and who share the sky with me. Some of my dearest friends are pilots, airplane mechanics and airport guys and gals. Even though they are truly special, my publisher will not allow me to give any of them a free copy of this book.

There is one lady, however, to whom my dedication is unbounded—Donna Overall, alias Squishalie Doodlebug Provolone. A dear and loyal friend, a talented graphic designer and the virtuoso who not only encouraged me to write this book, but who put it together with style and impeccable typographic standards. When deadlines approached, Squishie never blinked; instead she became neurotically voluptuous, put on another pot of coffee and worked straight through.

My beloved dog, Gumball the Magnificent, should be acknowledged—a wonderful co-pilot for over ten years, may she rest in peace. My wonderful country, the United States of America, is deserving of special mention—can you think of any other country in the world where personal freedoms not only enable individual aircraft ownership, but where hands-on flying for ordinary people is encouraged with such a vast and supportive infrastructure?

I also dedicate this book to you, the reader. I sincerely hope that you enjoy it.

—Joel Elman

True Love

Actually buy an airplane? It was now or never. My girl friend Madeline and I were becoming serious, so, with the last remnant of my independence—I did it. I bought an airplane. And not a moment too soon as it turned out.

Madeline accepted the news (I surprised her completely) with astonishment inadequately disguised as amused tolerance and patronizing support for her only competition for my affection—flying. Had I waited until we were in a more formal state of something or other, I believe that she would have disemboweled me.

So I had to move fast. And I did. A single engine, low-wing beauty with a supersonic paint job. All I had to do was get Madeline (who had never even been in a light airplane) hooked on flying.

I spent two days getting the airplane shaped up for Madeline’s first flight. I did everything, including putting a small bouquet of flowers in the ashtray and spraying the cockpit with lilac-scented bathroom deodorizer.

On the Big Day, and to avoid the sweatshirt-jeans-and-sneakers image, I wore a new light blue sports jacket and cream-colored slacks. Madeline wore a white cotton dress, pearl necklace and high heels. We would have made a great ad for Yuppie Village, but that was before things went wrong. Let me tell you what happened.

First, while draining fuel from the wing sump, my foot slipped and I tore my pants and banged my head on the wing leading edge. As I tried to stand up from my awkward position—and in great pain, I might add—I spilled the fuel cup in my lap. Madeline watched in horrific silence as I, in the course of three or four seconds, destroyed my clothes, damaged my scalp and drenched my clangers in aviation fuel.

Meanwhile, blood was trickling down my face and dripping onto the lapel of my new light blue sports jacket. Terrific. Just terrific.

Madeline informed me (in a triumphant manner, now that I recall) that I would never get the bloodstains out. I was more concerned about the cut on my forehead and got it to slow to a gentle ooze. Details, mere details. We got squared away, more or less, and boarded the aircraft.

Whaa! It’s so hot in here! What’s that smell? It smells like a funeral parlor! I think I am going to faint!, Madeline exclaimed in her shrillest tone as she settled into her seat.

It won’t be this hot for long, sweetheart, I replied cheerfully, perspiration and blood networking down my face as I gently lowered a set of earphones over Madeline’s head.

Arrggh! My hair! You are messing up my hair!

I wound up putting on Madeline’s earphones upside down with the wire loop under her chin. It looked ridiculous, of course, but it worked and didn’t screw up her hair. As gently as possible I wrapped Madeline in her shoulder harness and locked the seat belt. Then I snugged it up.

What are you doing? I can’t move! You are wrinkling my dress! For heaven’s sake, dear, you are wrinkling my dress! The dear, was at a decibel level that could have cracked the wing spars. I loosened everything and gave Madeline an encouraging smile as I began to sense that I might have a co-pilot problem on my hands.

At this point I should mention that when 100 octane aviation fuel remains in contact with human skin, it tingles—well, itches actually…in a burning sort of way. So I (thoughtlessly, of course) scratched myself and plucked the damp trousers as far away from my center of gravity as possible.

What are you doing? For heaven’s sake, why are you doing that to yourself in this heat?

Sorry, sweetheart, and I stopped immediately, but my toes began to twitch from sympathetic 100 octane nerve excitation where the trouser legs come together; nevertheless, I started the engine and we began to taxi to the runup area.

Oh, it’s so hot! I think I am going to faint! Madeline proclaimed as she fanned herself with her purse.

What did you say, sweetheart? I shouted over the roar of the engine.

I said ‘I think I am going to faint!

What?

I had forgotten to turn on the radios. We were screaming at each other. I opened the door (it was on her side) for ventilation, but she was unable to hold it open against the prop blast. I suggested that she hang a leg outside and brace it open with her knee.

It was an indelicate position, but it worked. I tried not to notice when she screamed as her dress blew over her head. We got better organized at the runup area. I asked Madeline to hold the checklist for me—it was, after all, an unfamiliar airplane.

"You mean you have to read what to do?" Madeline asked incredulously. She had a low threshold of hysteria to begin with and was easily provoked into raising her voice to piercing levels, but I understood this and reminded myself that no one is perfect and that she would probably be a terrific mother to my as yet unconceived children; besides, true love always triumphs.

Checklist, dear, just the checklist, I replied soothingly in the sweltering cockpit.

You told me that you knew how to fly! she said accusingly, obviously unaware of my meticulous approach to the realm of flight.

I patiently explained the reason for the checklist and Madeline seemed to understand; she did not understand, however, that she needed to stop talking when I was communicating with the tower. The tower controller was completely baffled by my transmissions because Madeline kept right on declaring that she was going to faint and that I would never get the bloodstains out of my jacket and that the cockpit smelled like a funeral parlor. All I was trying to say was that I wanted clearance for take-off.

The controller replied, Ahh…Six Zero Lima…ah, say again.

I repeated my request for take-off in concert with Madeline commanding me to Stop doing that to yourself! (I was scratching again.)

The controller, now looking at us through binoculars, came back, Six Zero Lima, ah, repeat…ah, what is your situation?

I scowled in annoyance as I wiped bloody perspiration from my forehead and snuck a furtive but meaningful gouge at my crotch. I keyed the mike button and took a deep breath, but before I could reply, Madeline shrieked, Arrggh, I’ve got blood on my dress! Then she discovered that she had torn a gaping hole in the knee of her pantyhose when she braced the door open—and screamed.

Another controller’s voice came over the headset and it was all business. Six Zero Lima permission to take off denied. Repeat denied. Return to base of tower immediately. Repeat immediately. Acknowledge!

Terrific. Just terrific. It was simply too hot and too complex to explain everything over the radio; besides, Madeline was squirming around and railing at me about her torn pantyhose, the heat, the blood on her dress, the odor of lilacs and the fact that she was going to faint. So I taxied back to the base of the tower.

The police were cautious at first, but finally understood that we hadn’t done anything wrong (they did sneak a look into the cockpit) and they apologized and told us to have a nice flight…but we didn’t fly on that day.

Incidentally, and as I write this, I am in my hangar and wearing a sweatshirt, jeans and sneakers. I felt that I had to choose between Madeline and my airplane. Like I said, true love always triumphs.

My First Flight

Not too long ago somebody at an aviation party asked me when, and under what circumstances, I decided to become a pilot. In retrospect, he was either a spy from the FAA or a member of the Pulitzer Prize Committee. I don’t know whether I will be hauled before a judge in handcuffs or carried to an awards ceremony on the shoulders of my friends. Nerve-wracking! This is what I told him:

My first flight was in a yellow Stinson Gull Wing. It was decades ago. Being a gentleman—even at an early age—I yielded the co-pilot’s seat to my girlfriend and got in the back. It was the first flight of our lives. Six dollars for about fifteen minutes. The gods decreed that I should be in the back seat, even though I paid for the ride…the story of my life. But I digress!

The sound, smells, acceleration and takeoff did it. All my hormones got rearranged and I fell in love with flying. My first thought was totally absurd—Does anybody else, besides me, know how absolutely incredible this is? I was an uneducated teenager (redundant, I know)—give me a break!

The pilot was a semi-scruffy character who became heroic right before my eyes! He was calm, cool, and skillful; more, he could fly! My hero. I can still smell the leather, the oil, the avgas, the musty interior. I can still hear the sound of the engine and I can still feel the absolute hurtle down the runway and lift into the sky. My conversion was total and everlasting.

I was utterly astonished.

Then, back on the ground, hanging around the airport to absorb more sights and sounds and ambiance, the phone rang. The call was from some big shot’s secretary to my hero, the pilot. A man of few words, he listened for a moment and then

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