Paris was about 150 kilometres behind me when I saw the clouds. Storm clouds. They were huge. They looked like black mountains standing in front of me across the sky. I knew I could not fly up and over them, and I did not have enough fuel to fly around them to the north or south.
“I ought to go back to Paris,” I thought, but I wanted to get home. I wanted that breakfast.
‘I’ll take the risk,’ I thought, and flew that old Dakota straight into the storm.
The pilot takes twelve degrees left as instructed by the controller in Paris. Aeroplane wings are designed in such a way that it makes air move faster over their wings. This helps them to move around \(465 - 575\) mph on average. The weather was clear, and the pilot had nothing to worry. He, therefore, moves fast as he has the urge to reach home faster as well. He moves on and travels around \(150\) km away from Paris. He is even more hopeful as he is just a few hours behind in enjoying a hearty breakfast with his family.
Weather conditions can change as one moves from one place to the other. Before entering Paris, the sky was clear, and the pilot even saw the stars. He was not expecting any hurdles on the way and even thought that it was an easy flight. But as soon as he moved a few kilometres away from Paris, there was a hurdle waiting for him. There was a storm cloud waiting for him. Thunder clouds are also called Cumulonimbus. They look like an anvil shape, which points in the direction the storm is moving. They were huge and stood there before the pilot like a huge black mountain.
Flight amidst storm clouds
If the pilot had to take a different direction and move away from the cloud towards the north or south, he would require more fuel to cover the extra distance. But he only had enough fuel to reach England by moving straight. The clouds were so massive that he could not move above them as well. His only option was to move back to Paris, which was only 150 km away, and the fuel would last. He would have to wait for a day or two before starting again to England. But he wanted to go home desperately and have breakfast as he had set his mind to. Therefore he decided to take the risk of entering the storm cloud.
Meaning of difficult words:
|Storm Clouds||Clouds formed from dense water vapour that cause storm|
|Anvil||A metal working tool|
|Hurdles||Obstacles that stop someone from achieving|
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.