Eight triple one Gulf, this is seventy eight Tango Sierra
how would you like to drop in to Grand Canyon airport?
We were flying Calgary-Phoenix; he Phoenix-Sun Valley
a friend had just lost an engine. He needed to land
and wanted a ride to Phoenix.
I didn’t know the runway but I followed him in
It’s not a very long runway and at the end
are some pretty big trees.
I was low and slow in the old Twin Commander
the one with the geared engines
The ones you always had to handle oh so gentle
like your throttles were a handful of eggs
So I played the game and brought in the power easy
Too slow and you eat the trees
too fast and you eat the pistons, and the trees
And it was a mighty pretty runway
when you were standing on the ground
On the way back from Phoenix It was late afternoon and we were lured
by the siren beauty of the Grand Canyon.
Right turn diversion, West to East as slow as we could go
Just below the rim the whole length of it
watching the magic colors as the sun
behind us lit up the canyon walls
Almost out of fuel we finally pulled ourselves away and
turned north to find a runway.
The wind was from the west and we had to land into the
blinding light of the sun just before it went down.
It was as if it had turned on us, this light that had made us
feel so alive, (although we had really turned on it) and was
about to kill us now because we didn’t have enough fuel to
go around and we had to face it
With two pilot passengers looking out the side windows and
calling out heights and directions, and a little luck we got
down. And we felt good again, very good.
Always the turnings, always the changing, always the other
side of the coin. So many times in that part
of my life it seemed that the beauty and the
pleasure were but a thin membrane away
from the fear and the danger.