by Charles Gulick
Fly Me a
|North Position: 16862||Throttle: 8676 (all except IBM)|
|East Position: 16625||Rudder: 32767|
|Altitude: 1000||Ailerons: 32767|
|Pitch: 359||Flaps: 0|
|Bank: 0||Elevators: 41216 (IBM only)|
|Heading: 226||Elevators: 39168 (all except IBM)|
|Airspeed: 74 (IBM only)||Time: 15:00|
|Airspeed: 89 (all except IBM)||Season: 3-Summer|
|Throttle: 10724 (IBM only)||Wind: 4 Kts, 160|
|As soon as you exit edit mode,
switch in radar and zoom out to the view
that shows you an uninterrupted segment of river, an airport ahead at
about one o'clock, and a city to your right.
|Press P once you have this radar
view so that you can get acquainted with the surroundings.
You're flying over the Kankakee River in Illinois, at a point about 30 miles south of Chicago. The airport on your radar screen is Greater Kankakee and the city you see is (as you've probably guessed) Kankakee.
|Now resume your flight and your
out-the-windshield view. Retain the
slow-flight mode and maintain 1000 feet as you fly the meandering
course of the river. Try to time and execute your turns so that you're
always in harmony with the natural flow of the river and always between
The effect may be for you, as it was for me, a pleasant and gentle one. And you may experience, particularly as you approach the point where the river bends through the city, some of the calm and serenity that a river lends to a landscape and to our sensibilities.
Each turn provides a new horizon for the eye and, by the same chemistry, for the mind. Perhaps you'll feel, as I did, that this is a river you'll return to sometimes. Just to fly it. To see where its vistas might take the imagination. Or for the soothing effects of distance-the feeling of space somehow separate from time.
How far does this river go, you might wonder, as I did the first time I flew it. And one thing I knew for certain: I wouldn't stop until I reached the end. The river was like a narrative I had to finish.
On Kankakee, each curve of the blue on the landscape leads to another. I was reminded of the allegory of a boat traveling a winding river. An observer standing on a section of riverbank the boat has passed can no longer see it, thus, it's in the past to him, just as his presence there is an event of the past to the occupants of the boat. Meanwhile, a pilot in a plane above sees the observer on the riverbank plus the boat and everything its occupants observe. Further, the pilot sees what is around the next bend of the river, which for the boaters is the future. So, past, present, and future for everyone below is just a single moment for the seer with the wings.
As a suggestion, why not do a 180 when you reach the end and see the river from the opposite perspective?