BOOBIES AND THE FLIERS
In the cockpit of the Electra, all engine noise stopped. Amelia sat at the controls trying to keep the powerless plane level. Fred, who held a limited commercial pilot’s license, sat in the co-pilot’s seat.
“That’s it, then,” Amelia said calmly. “We’ve gotta find a soft piece of ocean to land.”
Fred looked down out the side window. “Seas are awfully rough, Meeley,” he told her, using her nickname. “She’ll break up.”
Distraught, Amelia worried, “I don’t want to lose her.”
“She’s already lost,” Fred responded soberly. “We can get another aircraft. Right now, we have to worry about us. We need to break out the chutes while we still have altitude.”
Dooley and Talli watched the silent airplane as it started to lose altitude in a gentle glide.
“Let’s go!” Dooley yelled as he started flying in the same direction as the plane.
Inside the Electra, Fred strapped on a parachute. Amelia was still at the controls. He hurried back to the cockpit and climbed back into the co-pilot’s seat. Fred grabbed the controls and told her, “Your turn. Get into your chute.”
“You go!” she commanded, “I’ll hold it level ‘til you’re clear.”
“Not gonna happen,” Fred insisted. “We took off together, we’re gonna land together, with or without the plane. Now get your chute on. We’re losing altitude, fast.”
Reluctantly, Amelia climbed out of the left seat and moved into the aisle to start putting on her parachute.
Dooley and Talli continued to follow the plane on its long glide.
“Okay, Bro,” said Talli. “Why exactly are we following this airplane?”
Surprised by the question, Dooley took a long moment before answering. “To tell you the truth, I have no idea. It just seems like we might be able to do something,” he admitted.
“Dooley,” Talli reminded him. “We’re boobies. What can we possibly do to help humans in a broken airplane?
Near the cabin door of the Electra, Amelia cinched the straps of her parachute. She turned to Fred. “Okay, as captain of this ship, I’m last off.”
Fred hurried down the aisle from the cockpit. “This isn’t exactly a ship, Meeley” Fred countered.
“It’s about to be,” she insisted.
Fred shrugged “Can’t argue with that.”
“Jump as far away as you can,” she instructed. “As soon as you’re clear, I’ll follow.”
Fred nodded. “You got it.” He reached over and unfastened the door. As the wind slammed the door against the plane’s fuselage, Fred spotted a small seemingly deserted island just ahead. He turned to Amelia, excited: “It looks like there’s a tiny island just west of us,” he shouted over the roar of the wind through the door.
Amelia forced a smile and nodded. “Great,” she yelled. ”When we hit the water, we’ll head in that direction. The Itasca will start a search. We’ll just wait it out on dry land.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Fred bellowed. He grasped the sides of the door frame and positions himself to jump.