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One hour closer to your first accident

Within minutes, I’m flying 30 degrees to the left to hold the same heading in clear air while pointing this out to my copilot. Looking past the airport, there was a long string of clouds up next to the Front Range. Down from the clouds comes a long skinny “S” shaped tornado. Our friend in the back seat says, “You know we are flying towards a Tornado.”

Flying over water, from Nebraska to the Florida Keys

My copilot and I learned to fly in 1980, and we try to take a long, fun flight every few years. This was our best and longest flight, by 300 miles. It may be his last, as he has 11 years on me. Flying out over the ocean to a point you can’t see land gives you insight to how pilots both famous and not could get messed up seeing so many shades of blue.

How many second chances do you get?

We thought our most exciting memories were behind us. Everything was going great; the sun was about to set and, in an instant, we lost everything but the motor. No radios. No lights. No electrical instruments. And no ideas – yet. We got through the checklist and decided we had lost our alternator.

Military flybys: rules and mistakes

For over 30 years, I have lived on a low-level military flight route. Twice a month, an F-4 would buzz our lake. Now it is KC-130 tankers high in the sky or a few Chinooks thundering across our lake. They can’t sneak up on you like an F-4. I have had five military flybys in the air as pilot in command. Every flyby makes my day better; some even make a life time memory. Here are a few.

How one pilot’s story saved my life

My friend was landing a high-wing Cessna at McCook, Nebraska, more than 30 years ago. As he began to flare, another low-wing airplane landed on top of him. Somehow both kept their cool and both landed safely. You may be able to say his story saved my life – at least it gave my story a much better ending.