Two Stories about Flying (Part II)
· The story ‘Black Aeroplane’ written by Frederick Forsyth, an English author, is a mysterious story.
· This story is about a young pilot who is flying his aeroplane in the night from Paris to London with an earnest wish to have English breakfast with his family.
· It depicts a man’s judgement ability and his strong belief and firm faith in his decision.
· It is a mysterious story as the pilot of the black aeroplane remains an unsolved mystery for the narrator. It talks about hallucinations that often appear to be real.
Synopsis / Summary
· The narrator of the story is a young pilot who is flying his aeroplane ‘Old Dakota’ over the sleeping France at night to London.
· He was very happy as he was thinking of his holiday as quick as possible to have a good English breakfast with his family.
· When Paris was about 150 kilometres behind him, he saw stormy clouds approaching his plane. It was a fierce storm and clouds were like huge mountains. He didn’t have enough fuel to fly around them. He thought to go back to Paris but he also wanted to have breakfast with family.
· The pilot mustered courage and decided to take risk and steered through the stormy clouds. As he flew into dark clouds, everything turned black.
· He wasn’t able to see anything outside. The plane jumped and twisted in the air. He wanted to know his way out so he tried to contact the control centre through radio but in vain. All the control systems of his plane had failed. The compass, radio and other equipments were dead.
· Then he saw another aeroplane. It was black and its pilot signalled the narrator to follow him and moved towards north. The narrator could see the lights flashing out of its wings and followed it.
· After half an hour the narrator came out of storm saw the light. When he landed safely at the airport, he asked the lady at the control centre who was another pilot flying black aeroplane. But, the lady replied that there was no black aeroplane in the sky as his was the only plane flying in the storm that night.
· He wanted to meet the pilot to thank him. However, he was happy to land safely at London.
Both the stories ‘His First Flight’ and Black Aeroplane’ highlight the importance of self belief and confidence in one’s decision. It acknowledges the need of courage and motivation in one’s life. It also talks about mysteries of life which often remain unsolved and hallucinations that often appear to be real. When a person desperately thinks about something he yearns for, his mind creates a picture of that thing and he considers it to be real.
Important Question - Answers
Q1. Describe the narrator’s experience as he flew the aeroplane into the storm.
Ans. As the narrator steered his aeroplane into the storm, he could not see anything out of his plane as it was black all around. The plane jumped and twisted in the air. He was scared as compass was broken. Radio and other instruments had stopped working. It was a scaring experience as he was moving ahead like a blind person without knowing looking onto the way and knowing no directions. He was uncertain whether he would reach his destination. He didn’t have enough fuel to return.
Q2. Why does the narrator say, I landed safely and was not sorry to walk away from the Old Dakota?
Ans. When the narrator reached his destination safely, he said that he was not sorry to walk away from Old Dakota. He was so happy and excited to reach his home that all his fearful flight and scaring experience didn’t bother him. Now, all his troubles and painful experience seem to have disappeared as he has reached his home. If he had decided to go back, he certainly would have been disappointed. Though he could not find the pilot of the black aeroplane, the satisfaction of reaching safely is what matters most.
Q3. Who do you think, helped the narrator to land safely? Discuss.
Ans. Possibly, it was the narrator’s own self that guided him through stormy clouds. His courage and belief in himself gave him strength and he felt that some other pilot was there to help him. Actually he must have prayed to God and his belief in his prayer was so strong that he experienced hallucination and in hallucination he saw another pilot helping him. In fact it was his own strong belief and firm faith in himself that gave him courage to steer out of stormy clouds and land safely.