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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Last Flight

Seth couldn't believe his good fortune. First he met a man with a slightly pointed chin and slanted bottomless black eyes that just happened to have a big airplane that needed a pilot. With in a day he met another man that needed some cargo moved. An idea formed and Seth for the first time in several years became very exited.

I guess I should start at the beginning. Seth was a pilot but he had the misfortune of getting old so he was a has been pilot. We used to refer to a man like him as a de-frocked airline pilot. Being a pilot was his life. Because of the law when he turned 60 he was unceremoniously turned out. There was a ceremony all right but it seemed more like a funeral. He had money, he had a boat, he had three ex-wives but he didn't have an airplane. He had never needed one.

Two years he had been retired now and he still didn't have anything to do. His life had been being an airline pilot and on his day off getting ready to go back out to be an airline pilot. His psychological world was shredding at the edges. His being in command of a big airplane and having the scrambled eggs on his hat was the binding in that edge and it was gone. To top it off a study had just come out that found the average age of death for retired airline pilots was 62. Gloom.

Then he met that man with the pointed chin and the slanted eyes and seemingly by chance the another man who needed some cargo moved. He was so excited that he never noticed how much alike these two men looked.

A few day after their initial meeting he met the man with the airplane again in a coffee shop by arrangement and explained to him that he knew a guy who needed some cargo moved. The man with the airplane was enthusiastic about hooking up and told Seth to set it up. To show good faith he gave Seth a manila envelope with one hundred new one hundred dollar bills in it and a key to a hanger in Mohave.

No one has seen him since.

Antonov An-2 nicknamed "Anny"
I have never flown one but I did climbed all over one and volunteered to fly it if they ever needed a pilot. It is impressive and crudely built but to me it was a thing of beauty. The door behind the crew member in the beginning of this video leads into the tail section where I found I had standing headroom. The engine is a nine cylinder 1000hp radial. It has a sound that will cause a pilot to cover his lap to hide his shame. This video is what I call aviation porn.
Built in 1947 and still in service.


Lord Wellbourne said...

God, I love reading this's like a well-seasoned gumbo on a cold day. Not always sure what's in it but you know it's going to satisfy!

Johann Rissik said...

Seth is dropping skydivers at a secret location. Confirmed.

That motor playing the bass notes, a Merlin doing the higher stuff, a P&W turbine doing the in-betweens...? Somebody please put together a symphony of this

Steve A said...

"..manila envelope with one hundred new one hundred dollar bills in it and a key to a hanger in Mohave."

Not a good combination. Rather like those emails from the guy in Nigeria only more ominous...