Having retired at age 52 from a well-paying job in the aeronautics industry, Abner D. Sandington-Elliot decided to realize a life-long dream and follow in the footsteps of Antoine de St. Exupéry, a writer and fellow pilot he greatly admired. Following months of thorough preparation, he had his modified SY X911 shipped to Morocco and soon set out on a trip across the Sahara desert.
A terrible sandstorm forced a disastrous crash landing somewhere in southern Algeria. He himself and the fuselage of his machine survived more or less intact, but the rotors were destroyed and parts of the undercarriage were severely damaged.
Remembering his favorite movie, The Flight of the Phoenix, in vivid detail, he devised a plan to repair what could be repaired and return to civilization in a phoenix of his own making – even though the easy way out would have been to call for help on his satellite phone.
Thank God he had converted his machine to a highly efficient fuel cell drive with energy resources that would last for weeks, and he had sufficient provisions for himself. Flying was out of the question, of course; he was ground-stuck.
Would his fuel cell jet-propelled vehicle take him across the rough terrain to the nearest oasis?
One thing he knew for sure: unlike his famous French idol, he would not vanish without a trace.
– James Steerforth ( © 2008 )
Inspired by Totally Optional Prompts‘ desert call.