The following is a brief excerpt from Wings. It’s the first page of the first chapter, so no introduction is necessary. This excerpt introduces Scott, one of the main two characters in Wings.
The nose of the Cessna swung around, straightening as it lined up with the runway. Scott leaned forward, attempting to judge the distance to the airport. He was concentrating fiercely; after all, this was the first time he’d attempted a landing without someone by his side giving him directions.
He eased back the throttle and adjusted the flaps. A gust of wind caught the plane and the right wing rose as the left side dropped. He looked down at the instruments and adjusted the rudder, restoring the aircraft to level flight.
When he looked up again, he was shocked to see how rapidly the runway had come closer in the few seconds required to level the plane. “Too high,” he muttered to himself, as he pushed the throttle forward, dropping the nose toward the ground. The airspeed indicator increased as the altimeter – which showed his height – dropped. He looked up again, and realised his mistake. “Too low,” he groaned as he pulled the control stick back, raising the nose. “And too fast,” he realised as the ground rushed toward him.
He was conscious that he had made a crazy, lurching descent and was still travelling too fast. He’d also dropped too far and was now lower than the ideal flight path, skimming just above the ground, well short of the runway. He thought about his options: Pull up and go around? Or try to land it anyway?
He decided to fly another circuit and make a new approach when his mother’s authoritative voice interrupted his thoughts. “We’re going to Grandma and Grandad’s place, so get off the computer, Scott. Now.”
Exasperated, Scott pushed the throttle forward and dropped towards the ground. He realised it was approaching too quickly, but he hung onto the controls grimly. A splintering, tearing sound came from the speakers and a jagged line crossed the screen.
He slammed the joystick down. Without the interruption he was sure he could have made his first successful Flight Simulator landing. He got up from his chair and trudged towards the garage, his mind replaying the sequence of events, trying to work out what he’d do differently next time.
Scott squeezed into the car with his older brother and sister. Fourteen years old, he was short and slim, with an olive, babyish face yet to be shaped by puberty. He had close cropped, dark hair, cut in the style of the character, Maverick, from his favourite movie, Top Gun.
The drive to his grandparent’s house took five minutes, leaving Scott little time to decide how to approach his next landing.