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He had always wondered about how to get out of a dangerous situation. What risks would take he thought. Now, as he walked along the road he found himself at a small airport a few metres off the road. He walked down the entrance road and towards the café. As he rounded the hanger door, he saw someone get out of an aircraft, “that’s it,” he thought, “that will get me far away quickly, I will steal an aircraft”. He climbed into the cockpit unseen as the previous occupant had gone round into the café.


He looked round the cockpit of what he assumed was a light single engined plane with two seats, it all looked good. He pressed the engine start button and the engine burst easily into life and all the dials lit up and the instruments moved their needles into position. He had a quick look round the hanger. No one, certainly no one near enough to know he wasn’t allowed in there or able to stop him. He pushed the throttle forward and the aircraft began to move forward. The grass outside the hanger was less than smooth as he tried to force the machine to speed up to the foot of the runway. It went a lot faster when he found the parking brake release button and another red light went out.


At the foot of the runway he pushed the throttle fully forward and the trundle became a whoosh. Halfway down the runway the needle indicated he had reached take-off speed. He pulled gently back on the control-column, but nothing happened. He pulled harder, suddenly the column moved and smacked him in the stomach. He recoiled and quickly pushed it forward and managed to gain control of the take-off angle and rate of climb. “Ah!” He thought, “I should have walked round and checked the control surfaces before I got in.”


He levelled off at a few hundred feet and did a left turn away from the line of the runway. Two more turns and he was approaching the foot of the runway. He had decided that this wasn’t going to work as he had no idea where he could go, or where he could land, or how much fuel was in the tank. Oh! Not enough as he found the fuel gauge needle. Also, he thought if he got caught he didn’t want to be charged with taking an aeroplane so best take it back.


He throttled back and sank gently onto the runway, pulling up at the last moment and landing a bit further down the runway than he had imagined. He then put the throttle to minimum and turned off the runway. Shut the throttle down and put on the brakes.

Without looking round, he undid his strap, opened the cockpit door and climbed out onto the wing and jumped down to run off. “Bloody hell,” he said out loud as he felt the sweat running down the back of his shirt, “that was the most immersive flight simulator I have ever been in!”

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