Take off optional, landing mandatory …
I received a genuine surprise from Management on my birthday – a pleasure flight in an autogyro (aka a gyrocopter or gyroplane) for when my next hometown trip to the English Lake District coincides with fine weather.
Three weeks earlier I would have been utterly delighted by it, but in the interim the Cumbrian press was full of an autogyro that had crashed, injuring both its pilot and passenger. Apparently there was a bird strike causing it to hit power lines after which, in the words of Monty Python, it “did not so much fly … as plummet”.
The question is: did Management know about this before she bought my present? Is she trying to tell me something? Has she surreptitiously taken out extra life insurance on me? Only time will tell. Meantime …
An autogyro that recently crashed
Hit the ground so hard that it smashed
Its cockpit in two
While both of the crew
Saw the seat of their pants flying past.
Postscript#1: Fans of the older James Bond movies will remember Little Nellie from the film You Only Live Twice in which Bond, flying a heavily armed autogyro, out-guns numerous baddies in traditional helicopters on his way to another victory over Blofeld and his SPECTRE organisation.
Such is its fame you can still buy die-cast models of Little Nellie 50 years after the film premiered!
Postscript#2: I try to edit my posts to be as lean as possible – usually unsuccessfully – and sometimes that means a smart-a**e bit has to be removed because it just doesn’t ‘work’ in the context in which it is set. That, pains me greatly.
This week’s sacrificial edit expunged the following re-wording of Bond and Goldfinger’s memorable exchange from an earlier Bond movie, Goldfinger, into the aerobatic context of You Only Live Twice:
Bond: You don’t expect me to walk?
Blofeld: No, Mr Bond, I expect you to fly!
There! I’ve sneaked it in!