It has been a serious few weeks for me. I had been cruising along until then ran smack into a brick wall of reality and have been sorting the damage for what I can salvage since.
But, still, amid disappointments and deliberations, I have found enjoyment in various things, from meeting new and interesting people to learning more about quantum mechanics. I have things to look forward to in the coming months, one right around the corner and that the chance to fly with my little brother.
My little brother actually isn’t too little. He outgrew me to about 6′-2″ and is a (mostly) responsible adult. He also followed through on a childhood dream a few years ago by earning a pilot’s license. However, sad as it is considering he was my first ever wingman, I have not yet taken the opportunity to fly with him.
Well, weather cooperating, I will get my chance to fly with him and I thought those of you with a morbid sense of humor may enjoy are little email exchange. The plan is for me to join him in flying into a family cabin or rather landing on a small airstrip cut in the woods beside the cabin.
Here is my request:
I have a proposal that could maximize your use of a small aircraft and increase my risk of dying a terrible death at the hands of my own brother. My idea is that I meet you in Lock Haven, fly with you to the Moyer cabin and then fly back with you later. I don’t know how that fits in with your plans, but I put it out there as a proposal and under the condition that you agree to ditch only into trees or rocks rather than water. Crashing would be terrifying enough without the prospect of drowning with a broken femur while trapped in the crushed confines of a small aircraft. Burned alive has a far more romantic appeal. So anyhow, bring a contact with correct legal language and I shall consent.
Oh fun! Violent death! Yes, it’ll be way more romantic to share those last, lingering moments with someone instead of slipping away unnoticed.
Lock Haven airport was part of the plan. I was going to stop by to refuel on the way back to Franklin (airport of origin). However, it doesn’t add much to stop there on the way to the Moyer cabin as well. It’ll be nice to have someone along to mutter to while I figure out if it’s possible to get the craft down at the cabin. Worst case, we’ll abort the whole thing and go back to Lock Haven. Or, in a shame-induced delirium at a failure to land, we could take it into the pond. There, amidst a flaming slick of avgas, we’d slip beneath the ripples before the horrified paddle-boaters.
Piper Memorial airport (Lock Haven) has public parking at the end of Proctor Street. Time of meeting TBD.
The benefit to you is having a backup plan for reaching the cabin. We already know the Focus can get stopped on that runway…
We could try to cartwheel across the pond wing tip over wing tip, the visuals would be stunning for all observers. Maybe someone would get our parting moments on video and we’d be a YouTube sensation postmortem? I could try to flash a peace sign out the window or something…
Good point. It’ll be nice to have a backup plan.
You’ll be the perfect right-seat man. We’ll fly over the place at altitude, do a low pass on the airstrip (to scare away forest critters), and then shoot an approach. If the approach is stable, we land. If not, it’s a go-around. Practice landings yesterday ranged from 800-1200 feet. The strip at Ponderosa is 2400, so we should be ok.
Hopefully, enough glory will be won by a successful landing to make a grandstanding exit unnecessary.
Wouldn’t it be great if all business could be handled that way?
Despite appearances and the risk inherent in flying, I am quite confident that we will arrive safely at our destination. I trust my brother’s hands are capable. But if they and our plans fail, then may our death be glorious! So, if you are somewhere in the vicinity of Lock Haven and the mountains just north this weekend, keep an eye on the sky and be ready for anything.
Anyhow, pictures to follow…
(That, assuming the camera survives two crazy brothers in an airplane. — If things are looking down while we are up I shall attempt one last parting Instagram post before we become one with nature, intimate with the terrain, a flaming mess of twisted metal and broken bones, etc.)