The Gas Cap

Each time the planes came in from a flight they returned to their parking spot where we would top off the fuel tank and check the oil. It was probably myself who gassed the plane, but the next time it went up I was in it - an instructor and me in the rear seat. The instructor was putting in extra air time for stunt practice.

The first was an inside loop. (I love them.)

At the bottom of the loop I received a face full of gasoline. Looking up I could see the cap dangling by the safety chain. Not a nice thing to happen to a plane captain. I shook the stick and motioned to the pilot. He was not happy for now we would return to earth and I would re-tightened the cap.

But, Ho! I motioned that I might climb over his cockpit, reach the top wing and tighten the cap. After all I was wearing a chute which is more than Lindbergh wore in the Spirit of St. Louis.

You might flip a coin to decide which of us were the dumbest. If I were to fall the CO would burn both our backsides even if the chute worked. If it didn't only his ass would burn this side of Hell - mine on the other side.

While he held it steady at five thousand feet, I removed the seat belt and shoulder harness. Climbed out of the cockpit and held the windshield for balance. My other hand I placed on his helmet, straddled the rim of his cockpit and reached up for the wing hand grip.

Securing the cap was simple.

Looking down gave me the most adventurous, daring sensation. I wanted in the worst way to try the chute. My shoulder presence said. "Get back in the cockpit, you AH." The presence was not very complimentary. I got back and nether of us ever mentioned the incident to any one.

It was fun!

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