Suit-Up - Answers


You are going to fly the mail!

Be sure to wear the proper clothes and gear.

The superintendent has assigned you to fly the mail from Omaha, Nebraska to Cheyenne, Wyoming in ship (another name for airplane) number 385. You go immediately to your prep room to dress properly. Remember to pin on your number badge with pride - you are one of the few daring and courageous airmail pilots.

It is a clear day, October 15, 1923. You know that it will be very cold flying up so high in an open-air cockpit.

You and your mechanic inspect the airplane to make sure that it is ready for the 6 to 7 hour flight. You review the (1) map for directions before taping it to the leg of your flight suit. Then, you slip your personal (2) flight logbook into your pocket because you will need to write down the details of your flight after you finish today's work. With your gear on and airplane ready, you climb into the cockpit. The airplane holds its precious airmail cargo – 284 pounds of (3) mail sacks. All looks good for takeoff.

As the airplane bumpily takes off into the blue sky, you are grateful that you pulled on a (4) lined, winter flight suit over your jodhpurs, shirt and tie. The suit keeps you very warm and dry. You observe the landscape below and happily realize that your neck is free from chafing because of the (5) silk scarf wrapped tightly under your fur collar. Even though a steady stream of cold air blows all around you, your toes are toasty inside a pair of (6) fur lined boots and your hands remain warm inside your (7) gloves.

Without warning, a flock of birds flies directly in front of you. After a bit of commotion, you pass them without injury. Luckily, you are well protected with a (8) leather helmet firmly on your head, a (9) leather mask over your face, and a pair of (10) goggles covering your eyes. You feel able to face almost any emergency, equipped with a toolkit, flares, pyrenes, and even the (11) parachute that you are sitting on, but which you hope that you will never have to use.

You check the compass, your map and look around. You realize that the airfield in North Platte, Nebraska should be on the horizon. There it is! North Platte is your regular, refueling station. It is also a good place to stretch your legs and check the weather reports. You start a gentle descent over the Union Pacific railroad track and look over to the colorful fall trees along the river. You are in position for landing.

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Continue the story:
» Leg 2: Logbook
» Leg 3: Forced Landing

» Review This Activity's Classroom Objectives, Subjects & Age Level

Fad to Fundamental: Airmail in America