‘I should call Paris Control soon,’ I thought. As I looked down past the nose of the aeroplane, I saw the lights of a big city in front of me. I switched on the radio and said, “Paris Control, Dakota DS 088 here. Can you hear me? I’m on my way to England. Over.”
The voice from the radio answered me immediately: “DS 088, I can hear you. You ought to turn twelve degrees west now, DS 088. Over.”
I checked the map and the compass, switched over to my second and last fuel tank, and turned the Dakota twelve degrees west towards England.
‘I’ll be in time for breakfast,’ I thought. A good big English breakfast! Everything was going well — it was an easy flight.
When one is hopeful about something, they tend to finish their work quicker than expected. They cannot wait for the work to get over and the good times to start. When we know that we are going out in the evening, we cannot wait for the class to get over. Time seems to be infinite in moments like these. Similarly, the poet cannot wait to enjoy his holidays with his family in England. He, therefore, decides to do every other routine before the landing as soon as possible.
Since he was travelling over Paris, the most beautiful city in France, he had to get in touch with the Flight controller in Paris. Unlike roadways, navigating one's way out in the sky is not easy. As he entered Paris, he saw bright lights from the city that lay in front of him. He looks over the nose of the aeroplane, meaning through the front screen, out in the open. He calls Paris Control to inform them of his arrival and for further guidance. When flights inform them of their arrival, they do not give out the pilot's name or other details. Each flight has a number and code with which it is identified. He informs them that Dakota DS 088 has entered their city zone and that he is heading to England.
Flight control room
It is important for the controllers to respond immediately as it is impossible for a flight to just wait in the sky. The controller in the Paris station looks over the air traffic and weather and guides the pilot to turn twelve degrees left to reach safely. The pilot cannot just randomly follow orders. He will have to check his own compass and other facilities, confirm and take the route. He, therefore, checks with his compass, which also asks him to take twelve degrees left. He uses his second and last fuel tank to take this shift. He anticipates a good English breakfast as soon as he reaches home. There was nothing that could go wrong after this.
Meaning of difficult words:
|Paris Control||The flight controller in Paris|
|Compass||Navigation aid to help with directions|
|Fuel Tank||Tank designed to store aviation fuel|
|Infinite||Cannot be counted|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. The Black Aeroplane - Frederick Forsyth (pp. 37-42). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.