Day 8 – Monday, 12 May, 1930. Falling Through The Sky. Jhansi to Calcutta

Members of the Dum-Dum Flying Club service Jason's engine

Day 8 – Monday, 12 May, 1930. Falling Through The Sky. Jhansi to Calcutta

When one flies, one often considers falling. The physics of flight aside, there is very little keeping us in the air, aside from Lady Luck herself. Perhaps mankind is not meant to fly, is not meant to dwell in the air. We are defying the hand that nature dealt us. Perhaps it is not wise that we try and mimic birds. We are meant to live out our dreams on land.

Last night I dreamed of falling through the sky. Time slows when you are in descent. Our brain adjusts in order to give us time to consider our actions. Everything slows. I looked around. There was sky above. Sky below. Sky to the left and the right. In every direction, sky was swallowing me up, eating me whole. And still I fell. And fell. And fell. I was becoming part of the sky, the sky and I were at one. This sky was infinite and, although I kept falling through it, I would never hit the ground.

Moving that bed onto the lawn may have provided a welcome, cooler breeze but it did not provide a good night’s sleep. My mind and body were, I’m sure, convinced I was back in the cockpit. I repeatedly dreamed of falling and kept jumping up with a dreadful start.

Despite the dreams making me contemplate my own mortality it appears that Indian women believe I have magical powers. They have been keen to touch my hand, for the magic to flow through them. I hope that they are correct and I do possess such powers. I will have to put trust in this magic, however small it may be, throughout the remainder of this journey.

Today, we left Jhansi at dawn, refueled at Allahabad, then followed the Ganges, to the Dum-Dum Flying Club in Calcutta. They will overhaul Jason’s engine for me. I am borrowing some clean clothes, an essential right now.

Telegrams are finding their way to me at last. It seems I am causing quite a stir back home. Although I truly believe that this is just an ordinary flight, except that it is longer. Every woman will be doing this in five year’s time, of that I am certain.

Listen to the Twenty Days podcast

Hosted by Hull Is This, Twenty Days is our daily podcast charting Amy Johnson’s solo flight from England to Australia. Written by Dave Windass, performed by Rachel Harris, with music by Jessica Dannheisser as part of her Orchestral Portraits | Seven Pioneering Women album released on Audio Network.