"Aye, the question is, are you matee?"
Jocks Irish Brogue rolls as ever thickly of his tongue, and Ensign Cross has to glance at
him to see if his Observer is serious this time, or not.
It might be
As they climb aboard the Curtiss seagull, settle into their seats, it occurs to Cross that
this is real.
Those small bombs below the wing.............real
A if in synch with his thinking, Jocks voice drawls through the cockpit
"Ä little reminder skipper, this time we have to have the safeties off""
Oh, he means the machine guns.
'"come on Cross.....skipper is getting antsie......"
Its the catapult officer, sweating hard
Cross nods, gets to work.
The engine fires the first time with its typical great cloud of blue exhaust, shaking the bird
on her nest.
Even as Cross tightens his straps, the port catapult is being swung out, the skipper
swinging Chester so Cross points his bird into her 15 knot breeze.
Full throttle.........swing magnetos'.....no rev drop.( a drop of 60 means a no go).
Now, literally, the two men in their vibrating machine place their lives into the catapukts officers hands.
He will launch them.
If Chester is rolling, so easy to throw them straight into the sea, and disaster.
Or, conversely, just as easy to fling them up, up into a stall, and disaster again.
This cake has to be baked just right.....
Cross raise s his thumb, steadies the stick, concentrates hard on the horizon rising, falling..
With an explosive bang, and 7 g's ....Chester hurls them into the blue.
big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt