The Lure of Flying an Eagle

The possibility of flying flawlessly like an eagle fascinates man time and again.

Honing birdmen among Incans, for example, was believed an earnest goal, having the need for messengers, though disapproved by some. Thus, not only were the Incas some of the earliest conservationists of birds, but they also revered eagles for their power and speed, for being high flyers, and the manner they nurtured their younglings.

Birdmen were believed trained on their tenth birth year for this was the age when children were expected to take part in family affairs. So they begin to understand the theory of flight, the lift, the drag, the thrust; of descending like an eagle, of swooping down as smoothly and as gracefully — not spilling a drop.

With the use of improvised wings, every aspiring birdman must learn to control his wings and do a perfect job of it. The birdman is to master the textbook-perfect approach to the landing area, to glide in just above stall speed; and then at the last moment, lean back sharply, bringing the wing’s beak up. 

The birdman learns to fly as naturally as the eagle it revers. For example, he turns left by dropping his left wing like so. But not much or he will fall out of his wings or lose control. The trainer is bound to carefully and patiently explain the movements to the aspiring birdmen until it is sure every birdman knows what to do precisely.#

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