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Povenmire & Associates
Aviation Safety Consultants

Training Design, Evaluation
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Fifty-One Miles From Home

Words & Music by King Povenmire

I know now just how Lindbergh felt so many years ago.
I didn’t sleep a wink last night a-pacing to and fro.
I figured all the numbers, drew a line across my chart,
But my True Course and my Ground Speed are a hundred-degrees apart.

My log book’s signed, my flight plan filed, my sandwiches are packed.
There’s nothing left to do but go, and there’s no looking back.
I holler “Clear” and turn the key with only half a heart.
Hooray! I’m saved! The gods have spoke. It doesn't want to start.

I pop the door and pull the key, here comes my CFI.
He hollers “Shove the mixture in!” and looks me in the eye.
It works just fine and I’m in line, and now I’m number-one.
The tower says “Climb out on course.” This really should be fun.

I think I lost my pencil and my plotter’s gone astray.
My darkest fears from all my years are with me with me here today.
What’s that on the horizon? Could that cloud be moving in?
What if the weather swallows me? I’ll end up in a spin!

That checkpoint should be coming up but something isn’t right.
Out there should be an Interstate, a-stretching left and right.
Oh Me! What now? This couldn’t be. I think I’m off my course.
It must be wind or turbulence, or some mischievous force. *

I’ve wandered now for hours, and the tanks are nearly dry.
My panic has subsided ‘cause I know I’m gonna die.
But wait! What’s that? An airport! Well it’s right where it should be!
I made it! I’m a hero, but right now I gotta pee.

By what form of navigation I will never ever know,
But here I am and that’s what counts. And I am all aglow.
For now where e’er I wander and where ever I may roam.
I’ll know that on this day that I was fifty-one miles from home.

*Like - the horizontal component of lift.



The Man Who Never Returned

A Pilot's Career

Glider Ride (pilot's point of view)
Glider Ride (passenger's point of view)
Both Sides Now
Fifty-One Miles From Home
Don't Run A-foul of Rule No. 23B
The Best Lift of the Day in on the Base To Final Turn
I'll Be True to My Love If My Love Will Be True to Me