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Old 10-16-2014, 01:16 PM
Chris Balling
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Surprise, AZ
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Default Old Man turns back the clock

1962: Phantom on the Runway: “Miramar tower, Bones 00 ready to roll”, “00, tower, you are cleared for take-off. Gear up check with Departure Control, Button Seven. Have a Good Day Sir”. “Roger 00”.

2014: Phantom on the Runway: The adrenalin is pumping, the knees are knocking, but now I’m not strapped in the in the airplane. This is not a controlled flight, and there will not be a button 7 departure. An Instructor Pilot is not sitting behind me monitoring my every action. I’m at the Speedway RC Field in Arizona; my wife standing by my side. My RC cronies stand behind me quietly cheering for success. This is not a normal maiden, it’s a Phantom and when one flies it seems that everyone stops what they are doing and holds their breath.
Throttle to full power, roll out is fast and lift off normal. Gear up, flaps up, one click right aileron, one click up elevator and its 1962 all over again. Fast, sleek, the guttural throb of the bi-bifurcated pipe (it even sounds like a Phantom). Cruise around the field, burn off some fuel, drop the gear, full flaps, and anticipate the requisite high angle of attack landing. The classic nose high look over the threshold and a soft touchdown. A perfect flight. The cronies cheer and Carole breathes a deep sigh of relief.

Not many years left in this old body; but when I die I’ll go where retired fighter pilots go. It doesn’t need to be heaven because I flew the Phantom and now I fly its model. Bless this wonderful addiction we call Model Jets.

Chris Balling
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