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THE moon was coming up in the east, behind me, and stars were shining in the clear sky above me. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I was happy to be alone high up above the sleeping countryside. I was flying my old Dakota aeroplane over France back to England. I was dreaming of my holiday and looking forward to being with my family. I looked at my watch: one thirty in the morning.
Explanation:

The lesson 'Black Aeroplane' revolves around an incident that happens in the life of a pilot. Have you ever travelled in an aeroplane at night and wondered how pilots navigate through the darkness? The incident that is described in the lesson happens at night as well. But the pilot faces an unfortunate series of events. The lesson also unravels how he manages to come out of the crisis.

The speaker of the lesson is a pilot and remains unnamed throughout. He narrated the incident when he was on one of his usual flight journeys. It was nighttime, and the pilot was flying back to his home after a tiresome journey of taking people across countries. Although, as passengers it is difficult to understand the technicalities of flying in the dark, there are multiple nuances that are involved in flying an aeroplane. During the day, the pilots use several ground-based landmarks to navigate their way through the sky. Apart from this, there is a flight controller's office stationed at every airport. They are usually stationed in air traffic control and control towers. They use radar to monitor the weather, altitude etc., and give commands to guide the pilot using a radio or wireless.

Dakota plane*

On the day of the flight, the pilot sees the moon come up in the sky in the east. He also sees the stars shining brightly in the clear sky. When the weather is moody, stars generally do not show up. This shows that the weather was initially fine. Most importantly, there were no clouds in the sky. Usually, when there is a clear sky, it means that there is no air pressure, and there is less chance of any such thing as a storm. Not anticipating anything dangerous, the pilot is happy about flying high above in the air when the entire country is sleeping. It was $$1.30$$ in the morning. He was flying a Dakota aeroplane, indicating that it was British. He was currently crossing France to reach England, his homeplace. Since he was a pilot, he hardly stayed at home with his family. So this time, he was looking forward to finally reaching England and spending time with his family.

Meaning of difficult words:

 S.no Words Meaning 1 Countryside The land and scenery of the rural area 2 Dakota aeroplane A British aeroplane, initially a military aircraft 3 Navigate To find your way to someplace 4 Nuances The minute details 5 Altitude The height above sea level
Reference:
• 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.
• Dakota plane*: VanderWolf Images Shutterstock