Sabrina and I met in the departure lounge. We shook hands and introduced ourselves. “Hi, I’m Sabrina, your flight instructor” She said.
“Cliff,” I said rather abruptly. The waiting to go up in the glider had not done my nerves any good.
“Come on, lets walk out to the glider” she said. “Do you get motion sickness?”
“Yes, I’ve been known for that,” I replied, thinking of the many times I had been sea sick for days on end aboard ships.
“Good to know” she said. “I’ll keep the glider movement to a minimum. There will be a sick bag to your right if you need it.”
Arriving at the glider she pulled a square looking pillow shaped object from the glider seat. “Here, first strap this on.”
I put my arms through the shoulder straps and she pulled a further two straps under my crutch and clipped them on.
“What is this thing” I querried?
“It’s a parachute,”she nonchalantly replied.
“Hell, I hope we don’t have to use it.”
“So do I” she said. “I’ve got plans for the weekend that don’t include telling the boss that I’ve destroyed his $300,000 glider.”
“And flattened his client” I thought. Looking at the parachute I noticed a large stainless steel handle . “I suppose you pull this to release the chute” I enquired.
“Yes that’s correct” she said. “First you pull this red lever here to your left to release the cockpit cover. Push the cover right up and twist this knob which will release your seatbelts. Pull your legs out from under the front instrument panel and get into a crouch on your seat. From that position, spring into the air from the glider, and finally pull the stainless steel handle.”
“I see” I said quietly. “Could you please slowly run through that again.”