When I decided to track down some of the airplanes that influenced my life, the biggest surprise was finding a little aerobatic airplane I had restored in the 1990’s hanging from the ceiling in a Burger King. After the initial impact of viewing internet pictures of my handiwork suspended peacefully above fast-food tables, I had to wonder how the little plane came to be caged. Numerous attempts at reaching the owner of the establishment and/or the airplane have so far been unsuccessful. In the meantime, while searching my files, I came across a story (Snap Rolls to Burgers) I had written shortly after completing the resurrection of the aerobatic bird.
The truth is, I flew only one competition in N20DS even though I owned her for several years. We did a lot of playing and dancing in the wild blue yonder, but she had a bad habit of sharply dropping the right wing in a stall even if I wanted to spin to the left. I’d pull hard back on the stick, full left rudder and instead of entering a left-hand spin she would drop hard to the right and then flip over to the left. Once I got used to it, her erratic behavior didn’t bother me much, but it made the maneuver look ugly to the judges. As a result, I lost points and scored low. I figured out that the right-wing attach-points were slightly off and, instead of tearing things down to redo them, I learned to live with her small idiosyncrasies and avoid further competitions. I did, however, spend a lot of time competing with myself, trying to improve on my figures in the sky.
N20DS and I parted company in July of 1997. I never saw her again until she showed up on a Facebook page a few months ago. Now I have the urge to somehow rescue her from burger prison. I’m not sure if that is even possible given current circumstances, but the wheels in my head are spinning. Time will tell.