Here’s my newly discovered recipe for a near perfect storm.

  • Four friends schedule intro lessons late in the day, two with each instructor on duty.
  • You’re already running behind of course, due to Murphy’s law of days ending in Y.
  • They call as they leave home and say they’re bringing two more pals to squeeze in.
  • The tow pilot has to leave by 4:00 P.M., heck or high water.
  • When they arrive there are eight of them.
  • That’s also when a sudden crosswind kicks in, near the practical limit
  • Your second guy meets you on the runway – and is too tall to close the lid on.
  • Then the crosswind shifts, requiring a half-mile schlep to the other end –
  •  where trees gnarl the crosswind for trashier takeoffs and landings.
  • A Russian’s English isn’t much better than your Russian – you speak no Russian.
  • You plow through a briefing with the usual, “Follow me on the controls,” etc.
  • He hears English only if it’s spoken slowly, but you’re talking fast as you can.
  • Somehow he actually believes he’s supposed to fly the thing from jumpstreet.
  • Seconds later what you’re saying fast is, “I have control, let go of the stick, etc.”
  • Rattling the stick to shake him off only makes him tighten his grip.

There you have it, my new recipe for a near perfect storm. It gets really exciting about twenty feet up. If you have the guts and nothing to lose and want to make this storm fully perfect, just add one more ingredient:

  • Instead of aborting with half the airport ahead and trying to land while your Russian tries not to, just stay on tow and fight it out…

And be sure to have all your rabbit’s feet handy, ’cause you’re going to need them!