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Date: November 23rd 1916

Royal Flying Corps,
No 4 Reserve Squadron


My Dear Mother,

Your letter of Nov 2 arrived this Morning. Glad to hear from you again. I did write quite a long letter two days ago but will just drop a note now.

Had my first flip in the air yesterday. I cannot describe it, but it was absolutely the finest thing possible. I wish I had started flying when I first came over here 18 months ago. In the morning I just had 10 minutes with a pilot, and it was a most delightful sensation. In the afternoon I went up again and this time had 25 minutes. The last 10 minutes the pilot let me have the machine and it was glorious. One feels very elevating indeed and one cannot resist the temptation to climb. I climbed every time I got a chance but the instructor kept pulling me down all the time. At 1800 feet and 50 miles an hour it is just like standing still. The landings are, of course, the most difficult part and when you shut off your engine and nose dive 1000 feet it is a grand sensation. Then just as you are almost to the ground you turn on again and glide onto the landing ground. I did not feel a bit seasick even in the bumps so I expect I shall be O.K.

I was up again this morning with the O. C. flight but he would not let me take control as he said it was too bumpy. I must say I am enjoying it, and while I expect it will be some little time yet before I am any good by myself, yet I have great hopes. And as you say I will be very careful and not take any chances. There really is not the slightest danger so please do not worry about me at all. One has to forget for the time being that one has any nerves, and then everything is O.K. but otherwise it would be rather miserable.

By the way if there are any of those Persian lamb gauntlets, with the fingers separate, or even with thumb and one finger separate, hanging about I could do very well with a pair. If not don't bother about them as I can buy them here. We have to buy a complete outfit ourselves, and it is jolly expensive too. However I am going to get what I need to keep me warm in the air it certainly is chilly in the air. My feet, hands and ears feel it the most, so if I get them well protected I shall be O.K.

Lunch is on now and I am as hungry as a hunter so will run along. Will write Alf in day or two and will keep in touch with him when he goes to France, which will not be before the New Year I hope. I may get over about early spring myself, with any luck.

Lots of love for Father, Em and self.

Loving son

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