It was a choice between becoming a surfing bum, or flying tourists. Life pans out in strange ways. Some years as a military pilot, a short stint at commercial flying, then a company that went bankrupt. A new start in sales, a rapid progress up the corporate ladder, a marriage that went sour, an expensive divorce followed by another company bankruptcy, and he was down and out.
David had drifted a while, then found the job as second pilot of a laughably small operation, flying tourists on sightseeing trips into the mountains on ultralight aircraft. For chrissake, he had flown fighters, now he was reduced to rag and string contraptions that had a maximum speed of half what his stall speed used to be.
Still, it was flying, and it was a job. He had feelers out. Maybe one day….
The operation was owned by a largely absent businessman, part owner of a skiing lodge, and headed by his daughter, Shannon, a tough, unapproachable blonde half David’s age. A slim, fit girl and a good, though conventional pilot, she made it clear that she was in charge of flying, and that he had to follow her instructions, even though he had many more flying hours in his logbook. The third pilot and technician, Jerry, was a youngster with long hair and an irreverent outlook on things.
Which is how David came to be at the run-up end of the short airstrip this morning before sunrise, waiting for Shannon to take off with her passenger. They had been warned that the overnight fog was still hanging in the valleys, but the big man who was planning to impress his young girlfriend waved that away: “We are not going to fly in the valleys, I want to photograph the mountains. And I have only this morning, so get a move on.”
Shannon had reviewed the meteo briefing, with the warning that the dew point and the ambient temperature were only half a degree apart, then made a face at David. “Fog is hardly likely, isn’t it? Let’s give them value for their money.”
Now she lifted off the runway, and David got his clearance from the small tower. On the intercom he told his passenger, Diane: “Here we go, hold on, and enjoy!”
The light craft responded to the well-worn motor, and accelerated smoothly down the strip. At the right moment David pushed forwards on the bar, and the craft leapt into the air, drawing an ‘Ooh!’ from Diane.
He turned out to the left, noting that Shannon had decided to ignore the conventional pattern, and was already climbing steadily towards the snowy peaks, still hidden in the low clouds. He began to point out the local sights. “We are tracking to the east of the town, just to be able to keep emergency landing fields under us, should something go wrong. Always safety first. On the left you see Green Hill, a popular lookout point to see the sunrise from. Been there?”
Diane, replied: “We were there yesterday morning. Bubby rented a car, but it was so foggy, and all sorts of cheap people were all over the place. We saw nothing, and Bubby wanted to take pictures. So here we are. Why he couldn’t just buy some pictures I can’t for the life of me understand, but that’s what he wants.”
David grinned to himself. Relations are built on such mutual compromises. He went on: “There, we are climbing through the inversion layer now, and ahead you will see the peaks bursa escort appearing, just as the sun rises.”
As usual the sight of the massive snow-covered mountains in the early light drew a gasp of appreciation, and he ran down the names of the peaks, valleys and glaciers for her. A glance at his watch, twenty minutes of their one hour flight had gone. They made a long, lazy turn, watching the sun rise over the peaks.
He was about to call Shannon, a small dot ahead and above him, when the radio crackled. Jerry’s voice was tense. “Guys, complications. Unexpected wind shift, fog moving in. Expect the strip to be closed in five minutes.”
David swore to himself, beginning to turn back. Mountain weather was unpredictable at best, but this was unexpected. A few seconds later he heard the tower announce the worsening visibility, and asking their intentions. He waited for a few seconds, but there was no word from Shannon. Then he replied, stating that he was turning back and would evaluate options.
Now Shannon came on the radio, confirming to the tower that she, too, was turning back, and then, on the company frequency: “David, what is your position? I am giving Mr. Schnettler a few minutes more to finish his photography, then I’ll join you.”
He frowned, but reflected that they were not going to make the runway in five minutes anyway. “Ok, I’ll see what it looks like, then I’ll let you know.”
It did not look good. The thick fog in the low-lying valley was pushing up like the tide coming in, and rapidly engulfing the town. David could still see the runway, its beacons flashing through the first shreds of mist. Visible, yet unattainably far away. The few alternative landing sites were, likewise, rapidly disappearing.
Diane on the intercom: “So pretty! Look! Are we going to fly into those clouds?”
He replied: “Not if I can help it. We can’t see anything inside them, and this craft is not rated for instrument conditions. We are looking for an alternative landing site now. Do you see anywhere we can land?”
She pointed out a few impractical ones: a football field right next to power lines, a park, and the only really feasible possibility — a golf course, but that, too, was vanishing in the rapidly spreading fog.
David looked around, thinking laterally. They just would not have the fuel to make it over the ridges into the next valley, but he called Jerry to check it out, just in case. Then he saw the parking area at Green Hill.
He called Shannon: “I am going to check out Green Hill, what’s your position?”
Her tone of voice told him she had now realized the implications of their situation. “Five minutes behind you, and somewhat higher. We can’t land there, can we?”
“Let’s see. You have any alternatives?”
The hill stood like a sentinel above the village, and the restaurant, so good at selling hot chocolates to early morning sightseers, was lit up like a beacon. A few tourists were still up on the lookout point, but already the cars were lining up to take the winding road down. He turned around the top of the hill. Maybe…
Shannon again, now close to panic: “There’s a meadow, up north of the town. Do you think…”
He replied: “Checked it, there’s a ditch, and long grass. The parking area at Green bursa escort bayan Hill looks possible. Want to have a look at it?”
“Too small. And lamp posts. What are we going to do?”
He turned in to make a test approach, grunted and pulled up. “I am going to try it from the entrance side, stand by.”
“But there are cars parked.”
He could see the sightseers walking down from their vantage point. “They’re leaving, should be clear soon.” Then he concentrated. The road leading to the restaurant climbed up into the parking area, and that should break the speed a lot. Then if you held to the left…
“I think I can make it, Shannon. It’s going to be tricky.”
“Should we not try a blind landing? I have the runway on the GPS.”
He shook his head. It is almost impossible to fly in fog without proper instruments and training.
“That is not a good idea. We have no instruments to fly blind, never mind landing blind. Jerry, can you tell us how low the fog is?”
Jerry responded immediately: “It’s dragging on the tarmac. Don’t even think about it. And the next valley is also socked out. I am getting the bus and coming up to Green Hill for your passengers.”
David nodded to himself, then told the tower what his intentions were. He took a last turn and stabilized the craft on the approach. “Diane, we are going to land at that restaurant, ok? We’ll pay you a hot chocolate, but now I need you to pull your harness real tight and to hold on. All right?”
The wind hissed as he cut the motor, and the little aircraft glided through the cool morning air towards where the last car was easing out of the parking lot. He noted the position of the lamp posts, adjusted his line, steepened his glide angle for a moment, then pushed back on the bar. Airspeed was just right, maybe a touch high, but an uphill landing was always hard to judge. Then stunningly fast, the ground rushed up at them. Diane uttered a squeak, he pushed forwards to flare. The wheels hit the ground hard, bounced, skidded a little, and they were down.
It took some hard braking to avoid the hedge at the end of the parking, but then he turned, and reported to the tower that they were safe on the ground. To Shannon: “It worked, the lamp post is easy to avoid. I’m clear of your runway. It’s tricky, but possible.”
She replied, her voice uncertain. ‘Still circling. I’m not sure. You say you got down ok? I still think that meadow… But maybe… Look, my passenger is not happy.”
“Tell him to sue the weather. I am sending his girlfriend to have a hot chocolate at the restaurant on the company tab. Shall I put out a marker for you to aim at? You want to make a dummy run first in any case.”
He watched her turn to the south, then descend, line up with the road, come sliding down the glide path. At the last moment the engine roared and the small craft shot up, over the parking area, and clawed for the sky.
“That looked good, but perhaps you were dragging it in a bit. How did it feel?”
Her voice was still rough. “Don’t patronize me. Yes, I was too low. Or maybe there is wind? What is the wind like?”
“No wind I can feel, but I have a smoke flare in the emergency kit, let me put it where I estimate the best touchdown point is.”
The yellow smoke escort bursa curled and twisted in the damp air, slowly drifting down as it cooled. Shannon turned again in what David noticed was a standard left handed approach pattern. Then he heard the motor go silent, and she began the final approach.
“That looks good. Perhaps a trifle low. Keep the airspeed steady, and keep coming.”
The bright colors of the wing against the grey sky was something beautiful, as was its steady approach. It rocked minutely from side to side, then touched lightly just beyond the flare. Shannon had pushed the wing forward to flare, now brought it back to kill the lift. David could hear the brakes squeal, saw the gravel fly, then the front wheel skidded as she turned sharply to avoid the hedge.
They stood, breathless, as Mr. Schnettler dismounted, gave a curt nod, took off his quilted flying suit, and walked to join his girlfriend at the bar. Within minutes Jerry roared up in the company bus.
“Get them unrigged, I’ll be back with the trailer soon.” And he whisked the tourists away.
David looked at Shannon. “Well, I have to say that was probably the best landing I have seen you make.” He began to strip off his flying jacket.
She was also stripping off her heavy flying suit, but made as if to punch him. “Best landing? I’ll show you. Thanks for talking me in. You are a pretty hot pilot yourself.”
She had a t-shirt on under her jacket, and no bra he could see. The cold air made her nipples stand up, hard like switches under the t-shirt. Before he could help it, the words were out: “Not as hot as you are, sweetie.”
She turned on him, a moment of fury, then something else in her eyes. She looked at the fog that was beginning to rise around them, then roughly pushed him against one of the aircraft. “I’ll teach you to patronize me, Mr. Hot Pilot. Sweetie indeed!!”
Her lips were warm, her mouth hard on his, and she pushed him into the small seat, her hand reaching into his jeans. “Now you’ll see what a real landing should be like!”
His hands went to her tight backside, slid into the pants, feeling the firm muscles, the warm cleft between her buttocks. She had his penis out now, was massaging it, making soft growling sounds. Then she bent down, engulfing it with the warmth of her mouth, while her hands worked his quilted pants down, freeing his balls, his legs.
He looked around. The fog had risen, enclosing them in a small world of their own where the only reality was the warmth of their bodies sliding against each other, caressing, pleasuring each other. With a quick movement he drew her pants down, and his fingers found her downy mound, caressed the softness, found the warm wetness between her legs.
She rose up, gave him a damp kiss, then turned around. “So, give me some final approach guidance, will you?” But she found her own way on to his erection, engulfing it into her warm pussy, then moving against him.
David’s hands went to her hips, grinding her against him. Her cries of passion were swallowed in the fog, and then he exploded, deep into her writhing warmness.
She was still gasping for breath when the wheels of Jerry’s pickup crunched on the gravel behind them. The youngster grinned at the hastily arranged clothing and the flushed faces. “So you waited for me to come and unrig the planes? An imposition, I call it. But I understand. Something came up.”
David was unclipping a cable when Shannon touched his hand. Her eyes were soft. “Tonight…”