Soaring at Narrogin
The passion of piloting gliders!!
Soaring in thermals 5000 ft high over the wheatbelt from Narrogin Gliding Club in a glider without an engine is great fun, and its real flying by the seat of pants. The view is so long, the immensity is kind of intimidating, but its serene, the sounds of gliding are gentle creaks and groans when maneuvering somewhat like on a yacht, a gentle rise in ambient air noise (a swish) when you change speed, the occasional rumble as you approach stall - if it goes quiet then a rumble watch out you're in trouble lol. When you fly an aeroplane without an engine, its not the flying that can be terrifying, its the landing - you ALWAYS come back to earth... hopefully where you planned to at the airfield. Otherwise its into a farmers paddock, waiting for the tow plane.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
(Killed 11 December 1941 age 19)