Everybody loves the pelican. But when you are pinned down for several days by weather and hiding out in a caldera,
Bear in mind he is an amphibian. He’s smart enough to take off and land into the wind, and he uses his feet in several ways: to help him lift his weight on take-off, to keep his balance in slow flight, to soften his landings, and then for taxiing. He utilizes “ground effect” (flying low to the water in a cushion of air) to increase his efficiency. And he seems to have no trouble with rough fields, gusty winds or precision approaches to land on a pole. And did I mention his fishing skills?
This old pilot wishes his take-offs and landings had been always this perfect. I’ll close with the first limerick I ever learned:
A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I’m damned if I see how the helican!