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Anche se il Posto Informazioni Meteorologiche non può fare niente per me, è divertente volare. Venti da ovest in quota; quelli sono venti in prua, e ne possiamo fare a meno. Voliamo quanto più basso possibile, ma tenendoci sempre vicino a campi adatti per l'atterraggio. A volte non possiamo volare molto bassi perché i campi sono sparpagliati in mezzo al regno dei pini che copre la terra fin dove arriva il mio sguardo. Ecco una strada nel bosco che corre parallela alla mia ferrovia, ecco un laghetto e un pascolo, poi di nuovo i pini, dappertutto.

Fa terribilmente freddo; un freddo gelido, tagliente, sul South Carolina, nelle prime ore di un mattino primaverile. Ero solito sorridere quando sentivo raccontare dei primi piloti che si chinavano quanto più possibile in avanti per poter fruire del trascurabile riparo di un piccolo parabrezza, e che facevano strani movimenti con i piedi, strusciandoli avanti e indietro, solo per tentare di tenere a bada il freddo. Adesso non sorrido più. Scopro invece una tecnica tutta mia, nel cielo del South Carolina.

Planiamo dolcemente incontro al verde, il vento passa fra i tiranti con un sibilo leggero, tanto per dimostrarci la sua presenza. Spingo la cloche, e gli alberi ai bordi del campo diventano più alti, poi più alti ancora, e l'erba davanti scompare dalla vista, e quella sui lati si trasforma in una macchia confusa; ora tiro a me la cloche, mentre rallentiamo, poi la tiro ancora, ancora... e tocchiamo terra con un lieve colpo, rolliamo su tutte e tre le ruote avanzando con molto strepitio sul terreno disuguale dove nasce l'erba.

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Biplano by Richard Bach

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