Sunday, May 2, 2010


The engines of the Stinson are loud even with my headset on. I'm sweating slighlty with a hint of fear and I feel blood rushing in my head and behind my eyes. I clench my teeth and the armrest on the door.

You are smiling. We skim over the field not more than 200 feet off the ground. I can't see Dean's plane, but you call out to him over the radio and make a joke. You turn the nose of the Stinson lower and we drop a few more feet as the field falls away from us into a gully. Gaining airspeed until the field rolls back up and the engines roar even louder. We are lower than any tree top would be if there were trees in the fields. We climb with the field and shoot over the top of the gentle Palouse hill lined with a fence and Dean is flying level and perpendicular to us just as we crest. It takes your breath away just a bit as you tense and become much more focused on powering the Stinson up, up, up. We climb over the hill, over the field, over the fence and rocket over Dean's plane. The radio is silent and then you break out in a great "Whooopie!"

I laugh my relief. We look at eachother and you are laughing outloud. You look forward and continue laughing into the radio, "Hey, Dean. We gotcha." Dean responds something back and we laugh. The adrenaline release is starting to flush us both. Slight panic starts to trickle back in my stomach and you bank and turn the plane back to find Dean for some more play, but with a little more caution. I am able to quelch the racing of my heart knowing that you are a skilled pilot and know the Stinson's capabilities well. But you still enjoy pushing the limits.

Later, after I have put up a bit of protest, you tilt the plane back and we bend over the sky towards home. The gray sky parts slightly to the southwest of us and I can crane my neck to see the setting sun burning a bright orange red over the horizon.