Bending the Throttle

by Evan Lachance

Josh looked out of his New York City bedroom to be greeted by pouring rain. "Great," he thought, "just what I need on my flight test day." Josh rolled out of bed and plodded towards the kitchen. His mother, Jenny, was already up and making her coffee.

"Morning," she said, "what would you like for breakfast on your big day?"

"Oh, nothing special, I guess I'll just get a bowl of cereal."

After he had finished breakfast, Josh changed into a pair of black jeans with paint splatters, a green t-shirt, and a pair of yellow and black caution Converse. He slung his orange messenger bag over his shoulder and headed for the school.

Josh's cousin and best friend was waiting by his uncle's café/bookstore as usual. "How'd the studying go?" Andre inquired.

"Okay, I suppose, I just hope I can remember everything when I'm in the air."

"Yeah, it would could be a problem if you didn't remember anything when you're trying to fly a helicopter." Andre stated.

Josh entered Breakwater High School and walked up to locker 194 "23-16-5" he thought as he turned the combination lock. Just as he closed the door the bell rang. Josh walked briskly to his homeroom. After his teacher, Mr. Davis, had taken attendance, Josh hurriedly wrote his assignments on his assignment pad.

The rest of the day trickled by slowly, Algebra, Biology, Shop, Latin, English, Theater, Study Hall. Finally the bell rang, and Josh darted to his locker, grabbed his things, and sprinted toward the door.

Josh bolted down the sidewalk with an orange umbrella bobbing above his head. His apartment build came in to view and he slowed down. He passed into the building and took the elevator to floor number 16.

He walked briskly through the kitchen, grabbed an apple, then walked to his room and flopped onto his bed. Pulling his flight book from the shelf he look at all the highlighted paragraphs, studying all he could before four o'clock.

"3:30," Josh thought, "I should probably get a cab to the airport now." Josh grabbed his already packed overnight bag rode the elevator down to the lobby.

His taxi pulled up in front of the small airport, Josh paid and hopped out of the cab. Josh's instructor, Mr. Hall, greeted him at the door. "You ready?" Inquired Mr. Hall, his instructor.

"I think so." Josh replied.

"Let's start the systems check."

After Josh and his teacher had finished checking everything they made sure the helicopter had extra fuel and supplies. Josh climbed up into the copter and situated the headset over his head. "Good Luck!"

Josh took off with expert skill and speed. He set the navigation system to his destination. He flew steadily for a few hours in the rain, then put the machine on auto pilot, and went to the mini fridge and grabbed a bottle of water and a bag of chips.

He then heard a steady beeping sound from the navigation panel. He looked at the screen and two horrible words blinked on and off. "NAVIGATION DISABLED"

"Think! Think!" Josh said over and over again in his mind. He opened the maintnence panel under the screen. Everything looked fine. "I can't run diagniostics on this! I don't have time!" He ran to the phone! No dial tone. "There must be a problem with the satelite!"

I have to land somewhere! He seem to be a over a large city. Josh's eyes searched frantically for a red "H". No luck. But wait! A small patch of red a small distance away. He grabbed the controls and steered twoard the spot. Sure enough it was a helipad! he fougt against the wind as he manuvered towards it.

Sheets of rain were hammering against the glass! He tried to set the helicopter down on top of the building as a stong gush of wind pushed him ttowared the edge. He ripped the controls to the left and came down roughly on the concrete.

He sat in the seat for a minute to catch his breath, then opened his door and ran towards the entrance. As he stepped down the stairs he thought, "I sure hope I get my license."

He ran to the lobby of the building which turned out to be a large apartment building. He asked the lady at the front desk if he could use the telephone. She smiled and pointed to a small table with a phone on it. He thanked her and walked toward it.

Josh dialed the phone number to the airport and his instructor picked up. He quickly told him about his emergency landing. Josh was then told there would be another helicopter to pick him up soon. He then called his mom, who was concerned but glad he was okay.

Two days later Josh pulled up in front of the airport with his mom. He walked into the flight school and quickly strode to the front desk. The man at the desk smiled and handed him an envelope. The letter inside read, "Due to courage and calm reaction in difficult situation, you have been awarded your pilots license!"