Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Corporate Pilot

My best friend in college tried to get me to come to flight school with him but I thought the wiser of it and, instead, toiled away as a CPA. I worked countless hours in a relatively thankless job.

Mark, on the other hand, had some lucky breaks and very quickly landed a job flying cargo at night. He had the perfect job as he went started his work week on Monday night and was off for the weekend early Friday morning. His motto was "Perpetual vacation, that's my destiny.." Of course, the only good response I ever had was that I told him that "someday, I will sign your paycheck." That must be the ultimate revenge, right?

Fast forward 25 years and now I own a company and have a corporate airplane. Mark, on the other hand, flies a jet for a big company, so my plane isn't quite enough to keep up with his 'jet set' tastes. Still, this week I could picture it happening.

Mark was in my plane, unfortunately, for the wrong reasons. Mark flew to Nashville and flew with me up to Grand Rapids, Michigan. One of our good friends, Dave, perished last week in a plane crash and we made an honor flight, of sorts, for him on the way to his services. I would expect Dave would have done the same for us.

Dave was a excellent pilot and it is thought he was the victim of equipment failure. I had flown with him many, many times when I served as his safety pilot for IFR currency training. We had many other adventures in airplanes though most of them were back in the late 80's. I believe his accident will eventually be blamed on either an oxygen system failure or carbon monoxide poisoning due to an exhaust leak. We will fondly remember, and miss, Dave's smirk.

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