February 22nd 1940 – Madras

Completed tests for my ‘A’ license today. Monday I was bloody awful, Tuesday I had all the tests taped, so I booked Wednesday 7.30am with 4 hours solo. I did the 8’s but mucked up my landing, being too far from the sheet. The next two glides down from 2000′ were perfect, and I nearly stopped on the sheet itself. That afternoon did two 8’s and landed on the circle, and passed that test. My barograph was OK, as I kept at about 500′, but she looked a bit drunken during my figures of 8. Then a spinning test with T-B in, and this morning I go up to make 30 mins and complete my five hours. I climb to 5000′ and do right and left spins down to about 2300′, then back up to 4000′ and one long spin, pulling out of the dive exactly on 2000′. I keep my eyes on the altimeter all through the spin, and feel no effects at all. The aerodrome officer then questions me on Indian Aircraft Rules, which lay down what sort of lights a captive balloon, broken away, being towed by a glider, must display, when looping the loop.

This afternoon rang up Marjorie to come out and have tea, as I have to go into Madras for my ‘A’ License photos. She said the Ladfords and Jane were lunching with her, she was bringing them home, and so would take me out. She comes out and we go off to the Yacht Club. We take a walk around the Mole and watch the turtles and the minesweepers and then have tea on the lawn. “Thistle” appears on the water with Willie, John and the Grinder. She gives me a letter, not to be opened until she is gone. She had intended to post it, as she didn’t expect to see me again before the station. I open it in the taxi after having put her home, about 6pm, and it’s rather touching. I try to ring up, but can’t express myself well enough, so write her a letter. She goes to Marmagoa, but back on Wednesday, so must see her that night I hope.

Padre, Arsitarsi, John and I go to Connemara in the evening. Meet the complete drunk – Capt P.G. Hennessey 4/10 Baluchis. Nodding head, slobbering at the mouth, swaying, shaking and pukka blurred speech. I get the Padre onto him and we get him to bed eventually, talking French, German, Urdu and Pashto. A bit of a clever chap.


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