November 9, 1942
I am afraid I cannot yet report on a solo flight. In fact I only have 6:10 of dual in so far. Such a small number is partly due to my having the ‘flu—today is my fourth day in the hospital. I am allowed to be up today and so should be out tomorrow.
About a dozen of the class have soloed so far. None of these have been from our flight which has had fewer allotted flying periods and more periods washed out by bad weather. One of my pals – Doug McGrath soloed yesterday. He had just over 12 hours dual which is about the maximum you are allowed. However he could have flown earlier but recently the weather has been so bad dual flying only was allowed. There has hardly been any sun since I’ve been here. It is snowing again today and I think there is practically no flying right now.
Two of the class have already washed out and gone to Trenton. One could not get over air sickness, the other was too nervous off the ground. I imagine several more will go this week.
Back on Aug 31 on my fourth flight I did some spins which I rather enjoyed. We started these at a height of 4500 and probably came down about 1000 feet. I was expecting the horrible sensation of the first drop on the Grand Dipper but didn’t get the feeling of falling at all. However you do turn quite quickly so that I would not want to do very many consecutively. The instructor did the first 2 or 3 and I the next two. Recovery from the spin was much easier than I expected it to be.
The last two trips have been to practise landings—we call it ‘circuits and bumps’. This is what you do—as soon as the runway is clear give full throttle. Take off at 50 mph and skim along the ground until going at 65, then climb at that speed. At 300 feet throttle back to 2150 rpm. At 500 feet look well around, open throttle, make a 90° climbing turn. Then throttle back again. At 1000 feet level off, throttle back to 2050, set trimming tab and keep air speed at 85. In a minute you make another 90° turn and fly till you’re in position to land. You are supposed to round off at 20 feet and slowly ease back the stick for a three point landing. As you can see there are much too many things to think about for each one takes a great deal of concentration. On my first attempt at this stuff the instructor seemed satisfied. He told me when to level off and when to ease the stick back to land etc.
On the next flight though I was extremely bad in every phase. Turns were not nearly so good as the second day I was up. Another flight like that would wash me up. I can only hope it was like that because I already had the flu.
On Sunday Bob Davis and I had dinner with Gint and her people. Ted was not there—his 48 came this weekend.
I wonder if you would send in my old ration book. Its number may be different than that on the letter since my licence & plates are different.
I have just got the letter you forwarded from Dick. The only censored part was his address so I’ve no idea where he is. He has just successfully pass his trade test for A grouping which gives him another 25¢ per day. He must be very close to a fighter station because Spitfires and Hurricanes are flying just over the chimney pots all the time.
Let me know if much time is saved by this going airmail.
With love from
[Note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]