Awesome stories everyone. It looks like this challenge kicked it up a few notches. The ideas are just flowing and the excitement is growing, even though we're not even describing combat yet! I'm so impressed.

4 December, 1915
Le Bourget
Sergent Gaston A. Vouscadeaux

Well, the first 2 days were uneventful. All flights were grounded due to rain and strong winds. There was still plenty to do on the ground and the students were kept busy. It also gave me the chance to write a letter to Violette and the kids. Unfortunately, this lull made it possible for me to also finish my weekly wine rations prematurely. The next day, when it came to my turn at the controls, I felt uneasy on an “empty stomach” and the 5 take-offs and landings exercise took more effort and concentration than I expected. The heavy clouds in the sky reflected my disposition. Today the weather remains as foul as yesterday and the second set of take offs and landings triggered the feeling of déjà vu. Despite all this negativity the exercise went smoothly until the fifth and final take-off. Once clear of the aerodrome the rain started to come down in buckets. The visibility was close to null. I’ve managed to make a circuit and lined up for landing when the rain let up and the visibility returned to acceptable levels. I was just about to curse Toutatis and Belenos for playing a trick on me, when a column of army trucks appeared in front of my flight path, right at the edge of the landing field. My eyes grew to the size of saucers and my hands gripped the control column and pulled so hard that I thought I’m going to break it. The bird begun to slowly gain altitude through my sheer will alone and barely cleared the line of trucks before setting down on the wet grass of the aerodrome’s field. I realized I was still holding my breath. I started to giggle. If I had some wine left I would offer it to the gods. It was then that I realized that this flying business isn’t going to be as easy as I thought.

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"Take the cylinder out of my kidneys,
The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain,
From out of my arse take the camshaft,
And assemble the engine again."