Barbara Burgess, Psychic Medium
Have you ever been up in a glider?
Or, better still, can you fly one?
I was brought up around gliders. My dad used to build them, repair them and do C of A's (Certificate of Airworthiness) on them, at London Gliding Club.
My dad always made model airplanes and gliders as he was growing up. Then, at the end of the second world war he was sent to Germany to repatriate German families.
He actually found several families living in a cow shed as their houses had been requisitioned by the U K forces. They were all quite poorly with scabies and the like and my dad helped them get better, although this was not his job.
It was one of these men that introduced my dad to gliders and flying. I think he had done some flying before but this German officer was a very good pilot and taught my dad much about flying.
My dad loved flying and would go up in a glider at any opportunity. He could do aerobatics and loop the loops.
He was also very skilled at mending gliders and would re-build many that other people thought were a write off.
One particular glider that he repaired, he did a small modification to the body, and this then won a competition against other gliders of the same make. The owner asked my dad what he had done to the glider as it flew so beautifully fast after the repair! I doubt very much if this type of thing could happen today. In those days, anyway gliders were made of wood and paper!
My dad would feel things with his hands and would also run his eyes down a wing or fuselage to see or feel how streamlined the aircraft was.
My brother took to flying and I watched him on his first solo flight and the cable broke! Luckily he was not that high off the ground and he had room to land.
When I was sixteen I had the opportunity to go up in one of these sailplanes.
I can tell you that it was the most horrendous thing I have ever done!
I knew all about gliders as I helped to get them from the hangers and I was even allowed to hold the wing before take off.
However I did not have a clue as to what flying was like!
I sat next to the pilot and we were having a winch launch.
I think you go up at about 60mph at an angle of 40 degrees. This, in itself, I was not expecting.
At the 'top' when you reach the correct height or the height the cable will stretch to, the pilot ejects the cable.
In my case the glider's nose dipped at this point and my stomach turned over and over and over and just about left my body behind!
My father, later on, told me that the nose should not have dipped if the pilot had done it properly.
By this time I was even more than petrified. I just wanted to get back down on the ground.
The glider then did a few circuits of the air field while the pilot kept saying how lovely it was. I may have nodded, trying not to show my fear. I cannot remember now.
Then we did a very low glide over Dunstable Downs. The glider appeared to be going too low and too fast for my liking. The pilot told me to look at all the people sunbathing. I think I did but my mind was a complete blur at that time!
Then we came in to land.
On Classic FM, the other day, the broadcaster asked people to text in what was their happiest moment. Well I think the glider landing and getting my feet back on tera firmir that day was one of the happiest moments of my life.
Flying in gliders is not for me.
copyright Barbara Burgess, Psychic Medium, 2017
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