Flying IX. Landing a Cessna 150 on the Numbers.
While earning my Ph.D. at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York,
I joined a flying club for an extracurricular activity.
After many hours of flying and learning,
A skill-building activity occurred to me;
Often landing in rural tree-lined runways in the area,
I started practicing 'short landings' at the end of the larger Ithaca Airport.
The large numbers at the end of each runway
Are the basic naming system for a particular runway.
"24" was used for 240 degrees on the compass,
So a pilot could know that the heading around 240 degrees
Was indeed the runway being landed on.
The trick with a small, single engine, two passenger plane
Was to touch down as slowly as possible without stalling (crashing!)
At the very end of the paved runway
And then put on the brakes to successfully control the plane,
Before it passed over the last part of the numbers and stopped!
A bit abrupt and a little hard on the brakes,
But a maneuvering skill which might come in handy someday.
This sort of skill-building with constant thinking
Is what gives flying the excitement all pilots crave.
Frank Maurer 10 September 2023
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