Chapter 11. Day Flight
*Clothes should fold themselves.* She used the break to spend time and think while she laid aside the clothes she could not live without and with an artist’s eye, tucked them into her suitcase for the smaller drawers of the Flying Sea Dragon.
While Kaylee packed for the adventure, Tom waited for his accidental wife to arrive.
The Pacific Wizard sat on the tarmac, and he walked around and inspected for dents, loose rivets and marine growth. It had been in the ocean for almost a week straight, and still did not show signs of great deal growth.
There was some areas that seemed to have a light coating of slime, but the maintenance team would steam-clean it quickly and inspect for other defects, it had been over a month since its last haul-out and the Wizard had flown to a handful of locations in that time. Vegas, Sacramento, Portland, Astoria and Seattle.
Seattle and Brisbane were his favorites.
He liked the motion it had when it floated on the water, and the neighborhood was much quieter than at the airport with the flights coming and going every few minutes. But, inspecting it was necessary with the growth of marine life, and even with carbon fiber and titanium, corrosion was a hazard with salt water intrusion.
The bulk of the Pacific Wizard, on his insistence, built with titanium and carbon fiber and a great deal of corrosion free materials.
Tom worried, still.
It was an expensive RV, for sure.
Still, it was his favorite. He had the pontoons on the wings modified by the builder so they folded hydraulically into recesses on the wing-tips, making the wing much cleaner for the airflow.
Tom had larger, more powerful engines installed on the Wizard. More than fifty-percent greater thrust output over the rest of the fleet that Tom’s company purchased. To his pleasure, the greater efficiency of the new engines produced more power and still used less fuel. The new engines extended his range without the need to carry more fuel.
He still had the fuel systems modified to his specs by the company that built the jet. All of the changes were now included in the later versions produced after his flying yacht.
Tom walked slowly around the hull, tugged at the landing gear and the doors, nothing was loose. Running his fingers over everything, checking that every surface was smooth and the seals were intact. Climbing up through the top hatch, he checked the engines, running his hands over the compressor blades and the smooth, painted surfaces of the nacelles.
He especially liked the images of the wizard and witch on brooms, custom painted, it was also his muse, often feeding his whimsy when he was enjoying his solitude out on the water.
Walking out on the wings, he crawled along on his hands and knees and inspected the control surfaces. Everything was in perfect shape, even to the tip of the wing where the pontoon fitted when in flight, where it became part of the wing, and not a drag on the plane.
Tom was still sat on the left-wing when Kaylee walked up, escorted by a TSA officer.
“Hi William! Thanks for escorting her.” Tom called down, then disappeared down the hatch into the Pacific Wizard.
Stepping out the door of the out-of-service jet carrying two plastic bins of clothes, Tom put the bins down in front of William and Kaylee as they stood near the Pacific Wizard.
“Tom, she says that you two are… married?”
“That’s right! It was an elopement. Kind of surprised us, too.”
“Mister Harte, you are always entertaining. I look forward to working here when you’re around.” William the officer laughed. “Everyone does.”
“Thank you for your company, William.” Kaylee said.
“Yes, Missus Harte. “ William laughed, “I’ll never get used to saying that!”
“Kaylee , please.”
“Yes, Missus… er… Kaylee .” William said as he walked off.
“Are you friends with everyone? I would have thought that a rich-bitch like you would have kept away from the common people.” Kaylee said to Tom as William walked away.
Tom chuckled as he picked up the boxes again and they walked towards the Flying Sea Dragon.*
“Yeah… no. I worked with the “common people” for years before I started to write. I had written for a long time and had only expanded past my personal writing when I had found computers. After that, the challenge was to find someone who is willing to publish my stories.” Tom said as they entered the smaller plane.
“Smaller” the term really did not fit the description, but it was what he called it. It was the same model of aircraft, but did not have some of the features of the Pacific Wizard.
“Why is getting published a challenge?”
“No one wants to publish works by someone who has not been published before.” They sat in the flight deck of the older flying yacht. Tom pulled on a headset that kept his right ear uncovered, the side that was nearest her.
“How does someone have a book published, then”
“That’s the trick… Just a moment.” He called into his headset to the tower. Then turned back to Kaylee . “I had filed a flight plan before you arrived.”
“Oh you knew I was going to coming with you?”
“No, just a standard precaution. In case something happens and if we are late by more than a half-hour, they will come look for us.”
“Oh wow, I never knew that.”
“Okay, well, they cleared us to taxi. Sit in that chair, belt in and hold on. I’m going to show off a bit with these Rolls Royce engines. A touch of teenager and fast car – with a big boy’s toy instead of a car.”
Kaylee laughed and cinched down her seat belt.
“Don’t touch anything. Just look out the window and enjoy the sights.”
They taxied to the end of the runway and Tom spoke some more into the microphone that jutted out from his headphones.
“November-Alpha Foxtrot one-two-zero; cleared for runway three-one west.”
“And up, up, and away.” Tom pushed two levers forward and the engines in back increased in pitch. Pausing for a moment, he let the brakes off and the plane accelerated as if it were kept in a hangar too long and was anxious to quit the earth and fly.
They rapidly gathered speed down the runway and Tom began to say words to himself.
“Vee-One. Faster and faster, faster we run.”
“Vee-R and rotate and purple dinosaurs go rar.”
“Vee-two, off the ground and into the blue.”
Calling into the headset, Tom thanked the air control and they began to climb out over the ocean. The greens and blues of the coast contrasted with the white of the coastal fog as they climbed to their designated altitude.
“This is beautiful!” She said looking out the window. “I never knew this was such an incredible view from here.”
“Yes, the flight deck has the best view.” Tom nodded. “You have never been up here just to look before.”
“Is this against some regulation to leave the driver’s seat?” She was curious about the night they got married.
“Pilot, and yes. It’s frowned upon, but we are the only two on the ship, so if I get up and I am back on the flight deck quickly, we will be okay.
“How did you get away with it the other day?”
“We didn’t exactly hold to the law.” Tom said.
“Autopilot, on. Check…” And he stepped out of the pilot’s seat.
She teased Tom with every few minutes she could think of, slowly kissing his ears. Correcting him every few minutes to stay on the flight deck while she danced outside of the line that separated the flight-deck from the rest of the cabin.
Smiling, she teased him without mercy with the all the tricks she could think of.
Laughing and kissing her before he sat back down. She joined him, sitting on his lap. Keeping her hands off the controls, she looked out over the state.
“I can say this for sure, this is a first to have someone sitting on me in the front of the plane while we fly.” Tom said, smiled at her, the shine of her eyes tickled him, while she looked with an inspired heart, commenting on the colors of the different lands below.
If the FAA ever caught wind of what was going on with the pilot of this plane, he would never fly again.
*But it would be so worth it.* He thought. *So very worth it.*
* Author’s note: Airplane name change from “Fleeting Fantasy” to “Flying Sea Dragon”. Alludes to his children’s books.