Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Flight to Remember - The Accident

It was a beautiful day.

"Not much lag," I thought.

"Perfect" I said to no one in particular, donning my RCAF Jacket. I smiled, and as I watched the sun rise over Connolly Aerodrome I strode aboard my Bleriot (still an old favorite in my aircraft collection).

Stepping into the cockpit, I looked ahead of me, checking for any avatars on the runway.

All clear.

I started the engine and taxied a few meters before increasing thrust. I pulled-back on the stick and the aircraft lifted-off the runway. I smiled again.

Safely crossing several sims, I loosened my grip on the stick and relaxed my shoulders. More successful sim crossings across the Firth of Caledon.

Approaching the western edge of Caledon, I made my turn around Caledon Sound. For a few moments my eyes were transfixed on the sky. Windlight is so beautiful this time of day.


Without warning an errant object of unknown origin flew in front of my path.

Alarmed, I tightened my grip on the controls. Jerking the plane suddenly, I bit the inside of my mouth, tasting blood. I over-corrected. Disgusted I thought, "Nice one, Phin!"

I remember hitting something. It wasn't a slow deceleration, but a sudden near neck-breaking stop. In less than a second I was motionless.

What happened next was like a hallucination... I think... To tell you the truth I'm not sure if this was a dream or real.

My plane began to shake and shudder as a swirling wind-storm enveloped me.

I heard something akin to groaning as metal twisted beneath me. Within seconds I was thrown away from my craft. My flying machine appeared to implode.

Why was I still alive?

Higher and higher I flew with the storm. As my hands fumbled with the radio controls - I felt a growing nausea and pain in my stomach. Grimacing, I lost my hold of the device and watched it fall. It disappeared into the clouds. My ability to communicate with other pilots or anyone on the ground... gone.

My heart sunk further.

My mind was in as much a swirl as my body. A tornadic vortex had taken me to heights and velocities never before experienced by an avatar on the grid. I was frightened beyond measure. My brain was too addled by the ordeal and I was losing hope. I wasn't sure how I would or could escape peril this time.

Surrounded by a growing blackness, within seconds the sky was gone.

Feeling totally helpless, I closed my eyes and began to pray. I was convinced I would never see my friends and loved ones again. That I would never see Elle again. I accepted my fate, so sure that this was the end - I asked the Almighty for a quick death.

I opened my eyes. The blackness of space now surrounded me without any point of reference, yet I could still breath. Perhaps I was already dead? As I pondered this, I noticed my rate of climb began to slow and for a moment I was suspended in the air.

Then...the terrifying fall.

To be continued....
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