- “I'll leave flying to you, Harold. Almost being airborne gave me butterflies in my boiler!”
- ―Peter Sam
Airborne Engine is a magazine story.
One day, Peter Sam is puffing along the little railway when he sees Harold and calls out to greet him. Harold is on duty in the hills, looking out for lost hikers or trapped climbers. Peter Sam tells Harold how lucky he feels to be working on such a wonderful railway with beautiful views. Harold boasts he should see the sights from up in the air like he does. As Peter Sam steams on his way, he thinks about what it would be like to fly. He whizzes down the hill thinking if he goes fast enough, he might take off into the air.
Later on, at the top station, Peter Sam tells Skarloey that he wishes he could fly like Harold the Helicopter. Then, he would be able to see so many more of the wonderful sights.
The next morning, Peter Sam wakes up from his dream of soaring through the sky like Harold. He shares his dream with the other engines who all laugh at him. Skarloey points out that Peter Sam will not be seeing many sights at all that day due to thick mist.
Skarloey had been right. Peter Sam has to go very carefully as he can hardly see beyond his bufferbeam. Shortly, Skarloey follows Peter Sam. Suddenly, Skarloey has to make an emergency stop due to some broken rails. Skarloey skids to a stop just in time. Skarloey backs away to fetch help.
Soon, Skarloey returns with Rusty and some new rails. The engines are worried about Peter Sam. Skarloey even begins to wonder if Peter Sam really did take off as the broken rails point skywards.
In fact, Peter Sam is in trouble. He had turned on to an old loopline to avoid the broken rails. Unfortunately, the rails on the old loopline are not very safe and Peter Sam's front wheels had bounced off the track. Now, Peter Sam is teetering over the edge of a steep cliff. By now, thankfully the mist has lifted so Harold is able to spot Peter Sam. Harold informs Rusty who races to the rescue with a crane truck.
Meanwhile, Harold lowers his hook and line to hold Peter Sam up. Eventually, Peter Sam is put back on the rails and he is very grateful. He tells Harold that he will leave the flying to him from now on as almost being airborne had given him butterflies in his boiler.
- Peter Sam has his old funnel.
- The trucks are scaled down standard gauge trucks.