Friday, August 3, 2007


I thought I'd be more up to date writing a blog but I'm on some deadlines and life has intervened in other ways, too. There's a fire upriver from us...and the wind is blowing hard. This is a bad time in the west.
But for fun today, I had lunch with a retired pilot in Wasco a little town 25 miles from our ranch. She's now the editor of the Historical Society journal and we sponsored a writing contest for local students so today we were going over the results, having lunch at the Lean To Deli and Goose Pit Saloon, our "external office." We talked about other things too, of course. And it was while at the post office as she was sending her uniforms to a friend that I disocvered she'd retired and was no longer a commercial pilot.
That sort of fits in to my second random fact. I am a licensed pilot but since the accident in 1986, I haven't piloted. I have flown and even that took me lots of hyperventilating and practicing imagining the pilot doing everything he or she was supposed to be doing so that we could lift and descend without incident. There's only been one incident since our accident and that was a faulty hydrolic that squealed and the engineer came to sit by my seat to assess the problem. I was sure I was supposed to have died in our small plane crash and had somehow survived and now because I was on this commercial flight, the entire plane would go down! Funny how we have delusions of power at the same time that we feel totally power-less!
But all went well.
Our own accident took us between three houses in the middle of town, missing power lines. We had no fire. We'd hit a clear air wind shear. Our friends in the back seat, one who was seven and a half months pregnant, didn't have a scratch; she didn't deliver early. She doesn't remember the accident nor anything that happened for two days after it. The baby in utero is now 20 and doing well indeed.
For me, the idea of piloting again means relearning what I once knew in order to fly. It's pretty much for me "use it or lose it." I suspect that's why "writing every day" is such a mantra. If you don't, you lose the edge. For me and flying, I feared more than losing the edge. I suppose sometime in the future, when I'm no longer focused on writing and less life-threatening possibilities, I might take lessons again. I don't like the idea that fear would keep me from doing something I once enjoyed. But for now, I'm not going to take that fear of flying class for fear someone else will discover I'm a pilot...and that wouldn't engender much confidence in the profession at all.

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