Short Essay Questions Key
1. Why doesn't Major Vylander like what he sees on a January night in 1954?
Major Vylander watches the preparations for the plane from indoors. He doesn't like what he sees. Not only is it a cold winter night, but gusting snow is piling up on the wings and fuselage of the C-97. Also, the lights of the runway can be barely seen through the falling snow.
2. Why is Major Vylander concerned that he will not be able to get the Boeing C-97 off the ground?
The C-97 has a full fuel load and a cargo that weighs seventy thousand pounds. There is also a strong crosswind. Major Vylander is concerned that the weight of the plane and the thirty-knot crosswind will make it difficult, if not impossible, to get the plane off the ground.
3. What is the Boeing C-97 carrying and where is it flying?
Vylander asks what is so important about the cargo that he and his crew have to fly to the middle of nowhere to haul junk to an island in the Pacific Ocean. Bass tells him that the cargo is top-priority for a highly classified test program. Since the C-97 was the only available heavy transport within a thousand miles, the plane was put on temporary loan to the Navy, and Vylander and his crew have the mission to get it to its destination.
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