NCERT English Class 10 Chapter 3 - Two Stories about Flying (Part II The Black Aeroplane) Solution

Chapter 3 - Two Stories about Flying

Part II The Black Aeroplane
Writer of the story: Frederick Forsyth
Thinking about the text:

Question 1: “I’ll take the risk.” What is the risk? Why does the narrator take it?
Answer:
The author was keen to spend his holiday with his family and so decided to fly all the way to England. It was a clear sky when he took off, but after he crossed Paris control, he realized a huge storm brewing up ahead of him. He did not want to miss the chance to meet his family at breakfast the next morning. So, he decided to take the risk of flying through the storm clouds. It was a risk because the visibility was almost zero.

Question 2: Describe the narrator’s experience as he flew the aeroplane into the storm.
Answer:
As the pilot (author) entered the storm, his plane started jumping and twisting. He could not see anything outside the plane as it was too cloudy, and the clouds looked like huge, dark mountains. When he looked at the compass and the other instruments, they had already stopped functioning owing to the storm. It was a terrible and fearsome experience for him. The fuel tank was almost empty, and he could not fly for more than ten minutes. Then he saw another black aeroplane by his side and the signal of the pilot was as if he was asking the author to follow him. It was a surprise for the author/narrator as the other black plane was having no lights on its wing, yet he was able to see the pilot’s face clearly. He followed him like an obedient child and thus landed  safely on the runway.

Question 3: Why does the narrator say, “I landed and was not sorry to walk away from the old Dakota…”?
Answer: The narrator, in his attempt to join his family for the wonderful English breakfast the next morning, flew in his old Dakota DS 088 and was strangled in a fierce storm. He was lucky as he had another pilot guide him to safety. The experience he had related to being in the storm with all his instruments malfunctioning and then reaching the runway safely left him in a state of great relief. He got out of his plane and did not regret doing so as his emotion of being alive was stronger than anything else. He wanted to thank his saviour, but he couldn’t find him.

Question 4: What made the woman in the control centre look at the narrator strangely?
Answer:
The narrator wanted to express his gratitude to the pilot who had saved his life and looked around for him. When he was not able to find him, he enquired the lady at the control tower about the black aeroplane and its pilot who had saved his dear life that night. At that moment, the lady looked at the narrator strangely and let out a surprised laugh. She ascertained that there was no other plane out that night and that her radar hadn’t detected any other plane flying on that stormy night.

Question 5: Who do you think helped the narrator to reach safely? Discuss this among yourselves and give reasons for your answer.
Answer:
It is very difficult to say with affirmation about the unknown pilot who helped the narrator. But probably it was the narrator himself who helped him to overcome his fear in the storm as no other plane was detected in the radar at the control tower except for the old Dakota. In that horrifying situation, he might have been hallucinating. He was a good pilot himself and brave enough to lead himself to safety.

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