Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ever wish you could un-say something ?

An older woman with snow white hair came into the office. With her was a young man in his 30's and a boy of about 10 and a little girl about 6 years old. The white haired woman stayed in the office while the young man and the children went out to the man's airplane.

The white haired woman whom I had never seen before, talked about helping the young man work on his airplane. I asked her if he was her son. I had insulted her big time. " He is my Boyfriend ", she roared. Oh boy, I wished I hadn't asked if he was her son. But I learned from that that sometimes it's best not to ask lest your words come back to bite you.

Another time an older man with a toddler came into the office . I figured the baby was his grandson, but this time I kept my thoughts to myself and good thing I did for it turned out that the baby was his son. The man who was about 65 was married to a woman nearly 40 years younger than he was.

I was part of a group of pilots who were scheduled fly at an airshow. All airshow performers had to attend a briefing by the FAA prior to the start of the airshow. One of the performers was a woman ( I will call her Susie, not her real name ) who flew a Piper Cub in a comedy act. In her performance she was supposed to be a woman who did not know how to fly but was going to fly anyway. She would take off and fly in a haphazard manner while a car chased after her down the runway trying to get her to land. In her flying act she would turn around and fly back over the runway toward to car that was chasing her.

A the end of the FAA briefing as she was leaving the room Susie stopped at the door and turned to the group and said, " Oh, by the way, I forgot my glasses today and I can't see a thing without them". Knowing her comedy flying act her words were funny but later on she had cause to wish she hadn't said those words.

It was time for Susie to perform. The announcer asked for a volunteer to drive the chase car because her usual driver couldn't be there that day. A man from the audience volunteered and got into the car along with a man with a camera . Susie the Ace, ran to her airplane, got in and started the engine.

She taxied out and took off flying kind of wobbly as was part of the act . The chase car tore down the runway , the driver waving frantically at the pilot to land. The pilot turned the ariplane and flew back toward the car at a very low altitude...too low, in fact because her right wheel hit the car. The wheel was torn off the airplane and went flying through the air.

Susie the Ace, was able to make a one wheel landing on the grass alongside the runway with little more damage to the plane than had already been done. She was not injured but was heard to say that she needed a drink. The two fellows in the chase car were not injured but were very shaken up. I often wondered if in retrospect the pilot ever wished she had not said that she couldn't see a thing without her glasses .

Till next time.
Marion Springer