Inside the clouds, everything was suddenly black. It was impossible to see anything outside the aeroplane. The old aeroplane jumped and twisted in the air. I looked at the compass. I couldn’t believe my eyes: the compass was turning round and round and round. It was dead. It would not work! The other instruments were suddenly dead, too. I tried the radio.
“Paris Control? Paris Control? Can you hear me?”
There was no answer. The radio was dead too. I had no radio, no compass, and I could not see where I was. I was lost in the storm. Then, in the black clouds quite near me, I saw another aeroplane. It had no lights on its wings, but I could see it flying next to me through the storm. I could see the pilot’s face — turned towards me. I was very glad to see another person. He lifted one hand and waved.
“Follow me,” he was saying. “Follow me.”
‘He knows that I am lost,’ I thought. ‘He’s trying to help me.’
The pilot decides to take the risk and enter the storm cloud, hoping that he can find a way within it and get through it. Sometimes in life, it is important to know when to take risks and when to be patient. Certain things can be tempting, like breakfast and getting a day off for the pilot. But one has to choose the best option at times like these. But unfortunately, the pilot took the wrong call.
The plane gets stuck inside the cloud, and everything is dark inside as it was a storm cloud. When there is a storm, it is difficult even to drive a car, as one cannot control nature's wrath. Similarly, it was difficult for the pilot to see anything beyond the cloud. The aeroplane was already old and used, and hence shakes and twists in the turbulence created. All aeroplanes have emergency technicalities installed in case of emergency. A pilot has a compass to show the right direction he has to take. Unlike roadways, it is difficult to find one's way out in the sky. But because of the storm, the compass had stopped working. The pilot was not expecting this. All the other instruments that would help one to navigate also stopped working.
The pilot's last retort was to call the flight controller in Paris to help him figure out the way. He had taken their help last time and therefore hoped they would be of some help. But to his bad luck, the radio stopped working. The storm would make it difficult for any transmissions to work. As the pilot felt quite lost, he found another aeroplane in the black clouds next to him. The other flight had also lost connectivity, and hence there were no lights on the wings of it. He saw the pilot's face turn towards him. This was a relief to see another human being, as he had thought he had been stuck alone in the sky. The pilot of the black aeroplane signalled to him to follow him. The pilot was more than relieved as there was another person trying to help him out. This gave him hope.
The pilot followed the other aeroplane
Meaning of difficult words:
|Twisted||Forced out of its natural shape or state|
|Turbulence||Violent and unstable movement|
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.