20140311-125110.jpg“ACE” CARLSEN
As promised, we raced to Fast Eddie’s Hobby Shop in Yuma at the first opportunity and bought a radio-controlled (RC) model airplane like the one our neighbor at Gunsight had.

I spent the afternoon assembling it, then insisted on taking it on a test flight even though a moderate wind had begun to blow. Any pilot will tell you wind makes landing an airplane an iffy proposition. Not to worry, I assured Mary. I couldn’t wait to try out our new toy.

By now you may be thinking you know where this story is headed – to disaster. But you’d be wrong. Fact is, I piloted the airplane flawlessly on my first test flight. By chance, an experienced RC pilot was watching and assumed I was an experienced pilot. He introduced himself and asked me how long I had been flying. When I told him I had no experience he refused to believe me. I then joked “But of course I was an Air Force jet ace.” He later asked me what I had flown for the Air Force! He had swallowed my jest whole – ha!

Well, as you can imagine, this got me all puffed up, and I did a little bragging on the ride home and afterward. Mary felt the need to pop my inflated ego, as is her wont. Apparently she thought I was strutting around as if I fancied myself a decorated combat pilot – one who needed cutting down to size.

Well, bless her cruel little heart. She’s the only thing that keeps me in bounds.

Seriously, I want to put in a plug for this airplane. It is a technological wonder. It has computer sensors that make it very easy to fly. If you’ve ever dreamed of piloting a model airplane but thought you couldn’t afford to or doubted your ability to do it then this plane should allay your fears. It’s called the Apprentice S 15e built by E-flite. Cost: $300. It comes complete with everything you need. It is powered by a lithium battery and will fly 20 – 40 minutes on a charge (depending on how much throttle you give it.)

It has a panic button you can press at any time if you feel like you’re out of control and it will level off (of course I’ve never pressed it.) If you take your hands off the controls it automatically resumes level flight.

I’d be out there flying it right now instead of bragging to my blog except some serious wind has come up and even an ace like me thinks it imprudent to fly in these conditions.