Short Story #251: Landing in Luck by William Faulkner

Title: Landing in Luck

Author: William Faulkner


Photo of William Faulkner.  Image Source
Cadet Thompson is training to be a pilot in the military.  Upon landing a plane, he is brought down by his instructor for how he executed his landing.  His trainer continues to berate him as he tries again.  He takes off again but does so in a way that leaves him little room to avoid an upcoming cable  When he prepares to land, other planes interfere and try to keep him from landing.  He realizes that his landing wheel is caught up in the cable.  While Thompson determines what to do, the C.O. is informed about the impending crash.  The C.O. orders over the trainer to find out if the trainer had pushed him too quickly.  The two argue briefly before they hear the plane is out of gas and plummeting.  Thompson manages to crash in a way that doesn't kill him.  His trainer is first on the scene.  The once-stern trainer is relieved to see Thompson alive and congratulates him on the landing.  Later that night at a hotel, Thompson is retelling his tale.  His friends mock him and when Thompson tries to explain what his trainer said, they mock him further.  Thompson berates the lot of them and leaves.  The men further mock him and when he returns to the room he is with the trainer. 


I wasn't particularly impressed with this tale.  It's actually Faulkner's first if I read correctly.  It seems like it's more for the adventure magazines.  Some of the disconnect is also contextual as it's not as clear about the elements of flying that they refer to--I wonder how much of that would be more accessible to a pilot or someone that was more used to watching flights.  

Short Story #251 out of 365
Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  7/21/2014
Source:  The short story can be found at this website.  

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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