Friday, March 14, 2008

Want more flying videos?

My cousin Hal sits in the right seat of the Navy's EA-6B (at least he has in previous assignments) and he has begun posting footage of his own, shot from the cockpit. Slide over to Paradise, Written... to see his footage. He posted this past Tuesday as well as today (Friday).

Hal is my cousin through my wife, Leslie. One of the first times we spent time together we went out to the local airport and rented a little Cessna 150 and flew down the Altantic coast of Florida from Jacksonville to St. Augustine. We circled the lighthouse and did some touch and goes there at the St. Augustine airport (I think Patty Wagstaff, famous areobatic pilot, is based there). We flew back up the beach low level, had a close call with a naval aircraft departing NAS Jax (our separation was probably less than a mile, but anytime you're in a C-150 and you don't see the multi-engine military aircraft until after it has passed you closer than is usual, that's a "close call" in my book!) and landed into the setting sun at Craig. If I'd had any doubts (which I hadn't) about whether or not Hal and I would get along, they were gone after that flight. But the story wasn't over quite yet.

There is little so personally affirming as going, on a whim, and renting an airplane and flying around just for fun; doing it well; and returning safe. It's easy to get a little cocky about it. I don't think I was "in form" that day, but I was feeling pretty self-assured. We filled out the logbook, turned in the key, and walked out to the van we had borrowed from Leslie's folks only to realize I had locked the keys in the van. Way to go hotshot! Tim (Leslie's dad) had to drive all the way across Jax to bring us another set of keys. The pic above is from that 1999 flight. Great memory...thanks Hal!


Hal W. said...

Matt- that was a great day wasn't it! I think it was right before Y2K if I remember correctly, because I remember when we were driving to Craig Field, there was a radio station playing 'Party like it's 1999' repeatedly until Y2K... strangely I remember much about the flight, but forgot about the keys incident until just now... I do remember watching a blimp recovery team recover the '' blimp while we were waiting for Tim. Good times...

Matthew Bradley said...

I remember that radio station! I went and checked the logbook...we went up Dec 30, 1999. I've also got pics (actually I think they were all yours) of most of the highlights, including the blimp, circling the lighthouse, and landing into the sunset.

Yeah...I remembered the keys. Something about your father-in-law having to drive across town because you made a bonehead mistake tends to make such things stick in your mind.