- Andre Schofield
By Andre Schofield
The nose of the plane reached the sky. The steady buzz of the stall warning told us to push down and go back to normal, straight, and level, but still, the nose kept reaching up and up until … Thud! Suddenly the wing lost lift, the plane started to fall, and the feeling of weightlessness set in. “Push the throttle in, push the throttle in. Get the nose down,” Mr. Brooks told my flying partner Ethan, who was in the pilot seat. After Ethan pushed the nose down, the plane started to gain lift and fly again. The practice stall was over, much to my relief, but more were to follow. After about three more of these roller coaster rides, we landed at a little airport in Prague, Oklahoma.
We parked the airplane in front of the rusty metal building that served as the airport’s main office building. We got out, stretched our legs, and took pictures of the plane. I had never loved being on stable ground as much as I did then. After a few minutes, we got back in the airplane. This time it was my turn to fly.
I inspected the plane, checked the engine, and made sure the instruments were working and correct. I started the airplane and pulled onto the taxi-way, making my way towards the runway. As I turned to get on the runway, I called over the radio to any pilots in the area that I would be taking off. I eased the throttle in, and the plane slowly gained speed. Soon it reached fifty-five knots, then sixty, and soon the wheels broke contact with the ground as I pulled back on the yoke, and the runway grew smaller and smaller in the background as we ascended.
After a quick circuit around the airport, we set off to find some space where I could practice ground reference maneuvers. We picked an intersection on the ground and started doing a one-mile circle around it. When doing these “point turns,” you have to look for a landmark a mile away from the center point and pass over it, all while referencing the center so you can make a perfect circle. After a few attempts and a couple of egg-shaped circles later, we started to head back to the academy.
As we approached, the grass runway we call home became more and more distinguished. We entered the pattern and came in for a smooth landing. We exited the cabin and dashed to the cafeteria. It was Dinner Time!
When I think about those point turns, I think about our walk with God. When you fly around the center, you have to watch it and make sure you're doing the right thing to make a perfect circle, just like you have to look at God, the center of our lives, and make sure you are not straying off the righteous path. Many more lessons can be learned about God from flying, and the more I fly, the more knowledge I gain about our wonderful creator.