Before we climbed into the Pitts today, John Greenwood funneled a gallon and a half of 20 weight mineral oil into the smoke tank. The stuff is clear and quite white, looking like cooking oil or thick water. He said 10 weight oil works better, but 20 lasts longer and he uses it because it gets him through two entire show performances.
At the practice area he turned on the smoke and had me do a loop. Sure enough, there was the smoke, thin and hard to see up close, but definitely there, and we came down right through it.
Then it was trying to do hammerheads, slow rolls, and cuban-eights,
all with the smoke on, drawing white lines in the sky. I'd like to
say that those white lines described perfectly circular loops, the narrowest
and straightest of hammerheads, the eight-est of cuban-eights. But
anyone who happened to be looking up no doubt saw every mistake I made,
drawn clearly in white on the blue sky. (Have I mentioned that the
praactice area runs right above the King's Dominion amusement park?
I hope everyone down there was too busy riding things to look upward for
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