TALES OF A WAYWARD AVIATOR

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Duke Elegant
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TALES OF A WAYWARD AVIATOR

Post by Duke Elegant » Wed Mar 03, 2004 11:58 pm

About two weeks ago.

I sat in the stark and simple room. I was cloaked in foreboding. The doc had summoned me to reveal the resultsof a recent X-Ray and blood tests.

Fear stalked me , always searching for a weak spot. There wasn't one. I strengenthened my resolve.

The words smashed into my wall like a cannonball .... "Duke , the cancer has spread , it's now in your left lung ... and your tumour markers are climbing .... blah , blah , blah ...." My doctor is a wonderful man.

I drove home towards the East , green farmer's field on my left , houses on my right and straight ahead , the towering sentinell Mt Cheam , whose snow capped peak thrust up to over seven thousand feet into the clear blue sky. A mountain upon which I had scatterd the ashes of a few fallen Aviators over the years.

This too , will be my tombstone.

But not so fast. It's only round three and I'v been knocked down to the canvass twice . But there is no three knockdown rule and sure , I am down on points. I have fought back from the impossible before.

Around 1982.

It was an off year from parenting for me as my two daughters were now with their mother with whom I had an arrangement whereby we would share guardianship on alternating years. This allowed us to remain close friends , share equally in the parenting and most of all , a year off.

In fact I was just returning from a visit to Vancouver Island aboard my precious little "Moontide" a twenty six foot sloop. It was winter and the days were short so I sailed at a liesurely pace , anchoring in remote little coves scattered through the Gulf Islands.

It was sure cozy down below with the aroma of Rum , cigars , kerosene , candles and crab shells permeating into a blend in which to indulge in the sorcery of adventure. I read of Tristan Jones , The Wayward Sailor and of Sir Francis Chichester aboard his Gypsy Moth II and his Tiger Moth , and Shackelton and ....

But it was time to spread out the Nautical chart and plan tomorrow's voyage. This was a pleasant task as the VHF marine radio droned away in it's government monotone as it gave lighthouse reports and forecasts. Well , tomorrow will bring a cold wind , well below zero , from the East but clear weather. It's right on the beak so maybe I'll slip anchor early and strike out for the Sucia Island Marine Park and hole up there for a few days before I strike out across the Strait. Planning was a pleasant task.

The wind moaned through the rigging as I bathed my innards with a glass of Port prior to bunking down into peaceful slumber with a trained ear cocked to note any change in conditions , however slight.

I awoke early to a grey day but it was clearing to the East. I saw the whitecaps out in the strait so in the solitude of the inlet I prepared my buxom little harlot for some heavy weather. I sweated in my heavy weather gear as I hanked on the small working jib and triple reefed the main down to two thirds it's size. After all , it's easier to shake out a reef if the weather proves to be not as menacing as forcast but it sure is a hell of a task reefing the main in a blow whilst single handing.

This pre planning is called the five P's.
Prior Planning Prevents Pisspoor Performance.

The tide had turned , so I slipped away
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Duke Elegant
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Post by Duke Elegant » Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:03 am

The 9 horse Johnstone easily propelled my buxom beauty towards the now streaking waves of spendrift and I cast an eye upon her form.

She was of ample girth aft of the beam yet cheekily fine in the bow with tumblehome that endowed her with a softness oft carressed.

She was a gallant little sailor and her portly demeanor made her a very hard boat to dip the rail in the water and was thus ideal for single handing. The fineness of her bow allowed her to slice into the steep , short , swells in the strait.

As I approached the open water I idled the outboard with the helm lashed in the centre and bounded onto the deck and quickly hauled up the mainsail. It flogged in the wind causing the boom to slam from side to side even though I had the mainsheet hauled in tight. The jib was laying on the deck with the lines already attached using bowlines so I hauled away on the halyard until it topped and it too , flogged with the heavy knots flailing close to my head. I had to act fast so I cleated the halyard and darted back to the cockpit and secured the outboard motor and allowed her sails to fill as she gently heeled over and gathered speed as she hissed her way to the weather.

I sailed in the cold driving rain quite happy in wool longjohns underneath foul weather suit hooded up against the cold. At least it was above zero ... just. I knew that the blue sky ahead meant a plunging thermometer with a rising barometer.

We beat and pounded to weather on a close reach hard on the wind. My little harlot pranced and bucked but bore on ahead with a bone in her teeth , as they say.

We made little progress to weather and the day was short but then , strangely , the wind abated as the weather patterns changed shift. A calm before the storm , maybe....

I dropped the sails and lowered the motor and powered toward Sucia. I'd be lucky to make it by dark so I opened her to max power and she cut through the seas which also were flattening. AAH! Life is good.


More to follow....
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Duke Elegant
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Post by Duke Elegant » Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:05 am

It was like a dare. Ahead I could just make out the entrance to Shallow Bay on Sucia. I looked forward to a hot rum at anchor in solitude.... and a feed of crab , some candles and a book.

I had it made. .... or so I thought.

The engine spluttered and died so I tied the helm amidships and took a step toward the hatch to switch tanks when I was ambushed by a shrieking , cold , banshee that whipped the water into a frenzy. It came from nowhere..... and bloody cold. Moontide rocked and slewed , confused , as if trying to point her bow into the wind where it belonged. I abandoned my plan to start the engine as it probably had an airlock anyway ... and it would have screamed in defiance as the prop would have come out of the water in these seas. No worries .... I will sail.

I rassled the main up as it again flogged wildly and then she lost her footing and fell of the wind and heeled over. I was hanked on with my offshore safety harness so I satayed aboard. When she righted I clambered for the jib halyard and added it to the flogging tangle as the wind screached while I tried to organize the lines and sheets.

The rogue rapid sou' easter gave me no choice but to aim away from Sucia , to East Point where I dreaded the cauldron that would await me there as the wind worked hard against the opposing tide to create Dante's Hell. It darkened quickly as it does in the winter. But the stars started appearing in turn according to their intensity and seniority. I rode her hard at full gallop.

She pounded to windward heeled hard over , the lines and sheets as taught as a guitar string. Thank God I had the reef in because my worst nightmare appeared in the form of ice. Thats right. Salt water spray freezes when it is thrown up into the icy wind ... and it clung to the safety lines about the gallant little harlot ... and the decks..now forbidden territory.

To my horror , I realized I was trapped ... trapped on a lee shore as the tide increased about East Point and the wind drove me closer to the rocky shore. The wind also betrayed me and backed to a more straight east direction.

I was now at ninety degrees to the shoreline trying to claw myself clear of the rocks upon which the surf pounded in geysers of thrashing spray. It was well into the night.

I was losing ground.
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Post by bigsky » Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:51 am

I think of you often Duke !!
I am praying for your health.
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Post by Duke Elegant » Thu Mar 04, 2004 11:55 am

Have you ever asked youself , "What the f*ck am I doing here?"
I did.

The streak crested wav es were stampeding towards Moontide as she pitched wildly exposing her rounded underbelly and I had to fight each individual wave as an enemy .... every one ... one at a time. These high steep walls of water were so close together such that , upon recovery from one , the next was upon you with a sickening thud.

The dark moonless night offered little solitude and the stars offered little light with which to see the approaching Horesmen of The Apocolypse capped in roaring white.

Here comes one.

I push on the tiller to bring her bow around to take it head on and slice through it only to feel like I'm airborne ... only for a second. She crashes down and pauses ... and I tug on the tiller allowing her bow to fall off the wind ... no speed , sloppy tiller ... I have to get her sails full and make way.... I need rudder. In the trough she blossoms momentarily , full of wind and she is making way. I have steerage.
Another growling menace is upon me already and I have to bring the bow up face to face ... losing way as the sails luff. I slice through the top and .....I do it again ... and again .... all night.

My thumbs ache with frostbite. Ice tryng to stick to my moving form. Exhaustion tempts me to give up , but in vain.

The surf pounded on the rocky , steep shore behind me. I choose not to look ... dammit , can't help it and I snatch a glance.

A warm chill of fright.

I reach for a place beyond my limits. I need it to survive. I have been there before when the Officer Training Unit (Australian Army) took us beyond our limits to weed out the weaker ones and to help us reset the baseline. I am there and I am defiant. And I survive.

By about three AM I had sufficient searoom to clear East Point to an area not so tortured by tide against wind , and I got her sailing on her own to windward all nicely trimmed and went below to the chaos where , with my hands cupped around an upturned clay flower pot atop the stove, I warmed my hands and grinned.

After twenty minutes or so I slid back the hatch and stood with my head out gazing upon a scene that is today burned into my soul.

I was scooting along on a starry night at about five knots on a flat sea , warm as toast , stars sparkling , at three AM , there's not a soul around and I am astride a now content little harlot after the ride of my life.

OOOooooh! Geez , ya gotta love it.
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Last edited by Duke Elegant on Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Duke Elegant
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Post by Duke Elegant » Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:01 pm

Hey I didn't put those cartoon characters in my post. I guess when I typed wave (WAVe) the cheer leaders showed up.

How do I disable that feature?

I did get a laugh though
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ahramin
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Post by ahramin » Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:03 pm

Duke under the form where you type your post are some check boxes. Check the "Disable Smilies in this post" box. It does kinda wreck the atmosphere doesn't it? Do you sail anymore? I plan on being on the island for the around salt spring island race and the cow bay regatta this year. I miss racing but i don't miss climbing that blasted mast in five below zero winds to get a halyard that someone else let sky.

ahramin
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Post by Maverick » Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:45 pm

Duke,

Awsome story, there ain't anything better that can get the adrelaine going than at sail in a storm and a half......cold, wet, dangerous and just plain fun. Its worth the calm afterwards.....You ever try those hobie cat's in high winds? :D
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Post by Duke Elegant » Thu Mar 04, 2004 3:53 pm

ahramin and Maverick.

It is amazing how many Aviators are sailors and how we can share a similar passion .

It excites me to write about sailing . I have yet to share the tale of a crossing to Hawaii out of San Diego in a 32 foot Westsail.... in December 1983. Many , many adventures.

My wife and I sailed our '39 Folkes steel cutter ( My little company built ten of them in Columbia Valley , near Cultus Lake) from my old moorage in Victoria to Ladysmith. I noticed a sleek , older , fractional rigged racing sloop tied up a few docks over. We tied up to check it out and there she was .... The Dame Pattie. This was the first Australian America's Cup challenger. It was named after the Prime Minister's wife Patty Menzies.

I cheered for her when I was a kid but she lost. But the winners are the one's who get to the starting line. We race her against the Russian boat and America II up near Comox.

I think aviation and sailing share the same soul.

I am the luckiest man on earth.

At the end of this month , I am going to 'frisco to crew a $1.2 million sailboat recently built for a friend of mine. We are bringing it back to BC uphill all the way. The rest of the crew are all friends and are Vic/Maui veterans. We will have to go 200NM off shore to get around the Columbia River Outflow/Tide thing.

Should be heaps of adventure. I don't care how tough it gets.
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Duke Elegant
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Post by Duke Elegant » Thu Mar 04, 2004 4:02 pm

And the Hobie ..... man! What a blast. They are most fun when pushed to the edge ... and then some ..... and that shriek that it makes up on one pontoon when ya hiked out on the trapeze....... then she digs in and over you go ... cartwheel ... and SPLOOOOF!!!

I would sail the Hobie off my beach on Sproat Lake as the Martin Mars would taxi out for flights. Now that was cool.

Geeeeez! Ya got me all worked up now. I'd better focus on aviation.
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Post by ahramin » Thu Mar 04, 2004 5:11 pm

I know what you mean. I do not know why i get myself all worked up reading sailing books when the nearest open water is 500km away. And the nearest decent lake is 200km. Argh.

Have fun on the delivery. I am sure it will do you a world of good. Call me if you need an extra man on the bow :)

ahramin
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Post by Duke Elegant » Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:51 am

The routine is the same today. I'm off to the airport.

Usually , I just breeze throught my wife's hairdressing salon which is part of our house. I say "Hi" to however is in the chair as I know most of them and always , ALWAYS , take a peek at my wifes bum cheeks. I know why I'm coming home.

There's no point in saying I'm going for a hour or two . She knows. Yup. I'm gone all day.

I already know who is going to be there. My mate with the Navajo and the Pitts.... a logger or two , older now , but with tales of trips into camp both harrowing and hilarious. Spectacular trips up the coast in my Navajos and King Airs during the glory years of the coastal forest industry. And Beavers , and helicopters....and politics. A few flying farmers ,some young rookies, and the wannabies and the liars.

I know one guy who won't be there. I plucked the feathers out of his arse last weekend. He was renting a mate's plane and carrying passengers into small strips. I couldn't remember him ever getting a licence so I phoned Transport Canada and confirmed my suspicions. I squeeled on him. He was having all the fun and my mate was taking all the risk. We have to maintain a level of honour amongst ourselves. I have too many fallen comrades who were decent law abiding folks and their honour will not be tainted in my presence.

Maybe the Yaks or CJ6's will show up ... nah! they only come on real nice days ... they come for the pie. Jerry and his AN2 biplane came in the other day.... at about forty knots. It can carry the same load as a DC3. The KA32 Kamov was here all week ... it had shed part of a blade but it is too tough ... its Russian.
Airplanes of all sizes and shapes. They come and go all day.

All arivals are closely monitered by our group but of course , comments are kept to ourselves.

Thirty one years , this has been my routine when I am home.

I will write a tale tonight.[/b]
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Post by Duke Elegant » Sun Mar 07, 2004 10:15 am

I had a lot of things going for me upon my arrival in Canada. My being Australian was one of them. I quickly learned that Aussies were popular over here and I proceeded to perpetuate that expectation. My girlfriend's parents cared for me enough to invite me into their family as I had met her in New Guinea where the whole family enjoyed a posting to Bulolo , a mining villiage.

The constantly grey Vancouver weather gave way to a spring fever that is denied to tropical dwellers. Slowly subsiding was the constant drumming of adventure that had fed my restless soul in that exciting jungle land. It took six months to come down from that but here I was , flush with loot and ready to settle down ... or was I?

I ran aground in a harbour town

Lost the taste for being free

Thank God he sent some gull chased ship

To carry me to sea.

One day I sat on the throne with the window open to the blue sky and I pondered ... pleasant thoughts of my upcoming marriage.

An approaching throaty powerful rumble flashed by in the form of a fast , silver , twin engine airplane that made things about me buzz and shake as it dissappeared westward. With one hand clutching my trousers around my ankles I hobbled to the window in time to see the tail of a WWII attack bomber fading fast.

After performing my dailly ablutions I scurried to the living room excitedly babbling questions in the hope of revealling it's possible whereabouts. A hint that they may operate out of the airport at Abbotsford had us in the VW bug and driving eastward.

Like an excited youth , I clung to the wire fence and gazed upon a sight to behold and never forget.... at least ten A26 Invaders in various paint schemes flanked by nine TBM Avengers , WWII torpedo bombers.

There was no confusion in my mind what I wanted to do.

On the way back , we passed through a pretty little farming community in full cherry blossom splendour called Chilliwack. This enchanting little town caught my eye.

I worked "under the table" in Pitt Meadows as a mechanics helper while I awaited my immigration papers to be approved. I had never seen an airport so busy , crowded and exciting. I also met three very experienced instructors Rod , Roy and George. My tales of daring doo were my passport to acceptance into this community too. In fact I had a couple of thousand hours and I was inspired by these chaps to get my instructor rating. These were exciting times in Canada and flying training was booming with two parallel runways playing host to nine ot ten aeroplanes IN EACH CIRCUIT. Pitt Meadows held the record for the most movements per day.


I must say that there is no better tool to clean up one's sloppy flying habits than an instructor rating , if taken seriously that is. The impressive snow capped mountains , the Golden Ears , Mt Cheam , Mt Baker all captivated me and recently married , I had plans to settle down.

Then I spied an ad in the Vancouver Sun.... Wanted , bush pilot , must have instructor rating. The phone was answered by a gruff voice that arranged an interview the following day. When concluding the brief conversation , he impatiently bellowed "Where did you do your bush flying?" to which I replied "New Guinea"..... and he blurted out "You are hired ... now .. start tomorrow." An he hung up.

And where , you may ask , was the base? Chilliwack! I had died and gone to heaven.

More to follow...
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Duke Elegant
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Post by Duke Elegant » Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:03 pm

.

It turned out to be the perfect day for a little aviatin' so I stowed the soft top and drove the Caddy to the airport to waste the day away.

Except that I had a mission. I was to fly the Moose as a guest of Murphy Aircraft here in Chilliwack. Robin , the company pilot already had it prepared upon my arrival as I had prior briefings on performance and emergencies a few days before.

I had heard it start , taxi and fly many times before and if you're a sound addict , then this is your elixir. It has a quiet throaty rumble to it from the outside.

I won't bore you with details of harness , instruments and do-dads becuase you can put whatever you want and where you want it , after all it is classified as a homebuilt. And choice of rivetting systems is a matter of choice too.

A very large door gives way to a roomy cockpit where two large people can sit without touching shoulders. Lots of room. The engine does protrude into your forward vision but not as bad as you'd expect from a big 350 HP radial (I'll check on that ... some have 450HP)

Even the next row seat pax would'nt touch shoulders and there is a VERY large baggage area accessable from an outside door about as big as both C206 cargdoors. Some people in Alaska have it hinge upward. Some evenhave one on each side...

This , folks , is a serious bush plane. It starts like one too. Sure she shakes herself alive a few cylinders at a time and is a little lumpy but once running at a 1000RPM she is fairly smooth. Well , smooth for a radial anyway.

It taxiied nicely without excessive brake use and certainly doesn't need a locking tailwheel.

I love the stick.... it's big and meatty with of all things , a coolie hat ontop. Yep! That's right.... electric trim....very nice.

Robin demonstrated her very ably and then I had a go.

It doesn't take much to get the tailup but then again we were empty and withforward C of G but she bounded off right away and climbed away at 2000fpm....that was impressive. Climb power still gets 1000fpm+ .

A stall does not break badly at all but it sets up a rate of descent and thats it. It has a big airplane feel to it and very balanced doing 60 degree bank turns at 80mph. I tired of hitting my own slipstream over and over.

I really like it. Wheel landings are a breeze and it has excellent directional control. I left the tail up for a while on landing and it proved to have a nice rudder feel.

She cruised at 145mph on 13.6gph (US gals) at 26" and 1850RPM.

What didn't I like? Well its not that I don't like this characteristic but an observation is that on final power must be carried. That is not a big deal but pilots should be shown this if they are inexperienced. In fact 70 mph on final was very comfortable. Compare that with a 55mph stall and you have lots of margin. And this is all without the newer wing tip mods installed.
OK ... when turing final from 80 mph coming back to seventy she gets a little sloppy but still VERY controllable. Robin tells me that is because the ailerons droop somewhat when flaps are lowered and some builders have the drooping aileron system on a separate crank as it is not needed unless doing STOL which is seldom needed given that we landed her in a few hundred feet anyway , even on my first try.

What about the interior noise? Get a better headset you idiot! They are better nowadays anyhow.

It is rumoured that with the new wingtip mods , the stall speed at gross , on floats , is 52 mph.

I really appreciated the flight , Robin.

And yes , F28 Guy , there is the best pie here... THE BEST!

I dunno why, but with only one hours flying ,.....how come I wasted the whole day away at the airport......
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Post by BuckNiner » Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:31 pm

Here's a feeble attempt at Duke's style. Let's call it: "Tales of a 35 Hour Aviator".

I was on my 150 n.m. cross-country the other day. Sechelt-Abbotsford/full stop-Chilliwack/pie stop-Sechelt. OK, nothing out of the ordinary for you experienced aviatiors. But for me, the 35 hour wonder who-has-never-flown-in-controlled-airspace, it seemed like it could only be a hellish world of bumbled radio calls and angry air traffic controllers scolding me mercilessly on the radio for all to hear.
But the day turned out to be uneventful....easy breezy. Except for one great event......
We cross midfield at Chilliwack and join the downwind for 06, turn base, turn final, uh oh too high. Flaps, flaps and more flaps. slow down baby, come on, come on, OK, OK, flare, hold it, hold it, sweet. I touch the brakes and turn onto taxiway charlie and call clear.
"Where should I put her?" I ask my instructor. "Right over there in front of all the people at the restaurant." Jesus, I thought. No room for error here. This could be ugly. The sweat began to trickle as I squinted my eyes and tried to remember all of the skills I had acquired in the last 35 long hours. I craned my neck forward and to my right to make sure my wingtip would clear the parked 172. I felt the airplane buck gently as I edged forward, then stopped, then forward again and luckily cleared the little 172 by twenty feet.
"Nice," I said aloud. My instructor looked at me strangely. I found a good spot and swung her in there, pulled the mixture and felt her shudder as the prop came to a stop. I wiped the sweat from my forehead. Another segment of death defying was over.
"Great," said my instructor. "Now let's get something to eat. But first I want to check out a 207 that's for sale." We hop out of the airplane and head for the parked 207, that to me looks like a stretch 172. My instructor sees someone heading into the restaurant.
"Hey Les," he shouts. The guy looks at him and and says "Hey Glenn, how's it going. You gonna eat?"
"Yeah," my insructor says, "we'll see you in there."
"Whos that?" I asked as we continue over to the 207. "Oh that Les, a guy I've known for a long time. He's got a ton of great stories, Australian guy, he's been sick with cnacer for awhile now."
My mind went into total recall. Australian? Great stories? Cancer? Holy shit? It's gotta be the Duke! Mr.Elegant himself! DC-3's, lobsters raining from the sky, New Guinea, firebombing, Avengers, sailing! I had only got to page six of "Tales of an Old Aviator" but I knew there were many more stories to come. Story after story went through my mind as I realized I was about to meet the Duke himself.......

Yes, ladies and gents. I met a healthier-looking-than-expected Mr.Elegant. Sat down with him, my instructor Glenn and his old man Gord and had a nice solid lunch outside in the warm Chilliwack sun. What a great day for a kid just starting a career in aviation to meet the legend himself.

Thanks Les. It was great to meet you, hear some words of encouragement from an old aviator, talk a little sailing and a lot of aviatin'. Keep the great stories coming, stay strong in you battle with the big "C" and stop in if you're ever up Sechelt way and want to head out into the swells on my Gulf Island 29'.

Mike.
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Post by BuckNiner » Wed Mar 17, 2004 8:50 am

Just keeping Duke's threads where they should be, PAGE ONE!
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Post by Duke Elegant » Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:29 pm

A few weeks ago , a friend of mine who is the proud owner of a Cessna 172 phoned me , somewhat excitedly , to reveal to me that he now had an arrangement with his friend who was to rent his aircraft thereby helping to defray the ever increasing cost of ownership , especially insurance.

He expained that his friend Dale had three thousand hours and flew a Pitts Special for movie work so insurance would not be a problem given his experience.... according to Dale , that is.

I puzzled as to who Dale is because I knew everybody especially since I'd been here for thirty years.

As usual one sunny day last week I mosied down to the airport to waste away the day and bathe myself in comarardarie and bullshit that go hand in hand around here.

"Ah! What a beautiful day to fly." thinks I.

It didn't surprise me that my friend's Cessna was being untied and readied for flight with to passengers eagerly awaiting the adventure. From a distance I recognized one of the passengers and in fact he had phoned me earlier to invite me on the flight to Rowena's , a narrow gravel strip that was walking distance to a golf course. I declined.

I NEVER sit in the back of a four seat airplane especially when I don't know the pilot. NEVER.

Or did I? He looke familiar. HMMMM.... the pilot WAS known to me. Stunned I was. I'd seen him around the airport but he had never indulged in discussions with me personally. I remembered that he flew model airplanes and had crashed an ultralight gyrocopter into a pigshit pile rendering him odourously famous.

This puzzled me ... the plot thickened.

"Hell no" thinks I "he doesn't have a licence". Or does he? After all , I'd been through two long brutal bouts of chemotherapy giving him ample time to obtain a licence. Yeah! Thats it... besides .. my friend had known him since childhood.

I ambled down the ramp. Hmmmm.... Wait! ... three thousand hours ... Pitts Special.. "No bloody way!" I heard myself mumbling aloud. As they taxiied by.... I was chilled. They took off leaving me cloaked in uncertainty. I had no right to ask for his lincence now did I?

I found myself in my car heading to my friend's house. , but I diverted momentarily to my house to make a phone call to a longtime loyal friend in Transport Canada. The news did not shock me. The phoney one did not have a licence at all .

My friend's face was ashen upon reciept of the news. He showed sadness too , after being defrauded by a friend. Forty hours this phoney pilot had ammassed on the 172.

Of course Enforcement is never in the office so I related the event to my friend to report to Enforcement.

We went to the airport and we were relieved that the 172 had returned and was tied down and so we tracked down the phoney one.

"The game's up" says I.. "I'm pluckin' the feathers outta yer arse.You've got no bloody licence My friend , the owner , stood silent.

The phoney one babbled on about Transport Canada were useless and had lost his records ... on and on...deeper and deper as he became more shrill.

Then I did an honourable thing.

"If you will only admit to your wrongdoing here" I offered , "maybe we can deal with it inhouse" He refused and babbled on.
"For the second time I ask you to come clean." I offered again "No way" he answered , to which I informed him that he left me no option but to go to the authorities.

Can you imagine the consequences of an accident... my friend could have lost his plane , his house and livlihood in these lawyer infested times.

Sure , my friend should have got a copy of the phoney one's licence but criminals are often charming and convincing and also , sometimes trust blinds reality

So there you have it fellow Aviators. The Duke is a squeeler.

But before you jump all over me , I will leave you with this.

I have many friends that have lost their lives in Aviation and they were licence holding , law abiding citizens.

Their honour will NEVER be tainted in my presence.

Honour is a man's gift to himself.




.
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Duke Elegant
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Post by Duke Elegant » Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:32 pm

Oh by the way. The phoney one has stayed clear of the airport ever since.

All of a sudden he claims to be dying of cancer , I am told..... HMMmmmmm.

We have heard nothing from Transport Enforcement in a week now.
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Post by Duke Elegant » Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:09 pm

.

As the phoney pilot flew off , I ambled along the ramp betwen the rows of aircraft.

The circuit was silent.

I passed a Cessna 120 , well loved , proud of her shiny polished skin . It's hard not to stroke her. A Cherokee .... Ho Hum ... , an old V-Tail Bonanza , shot with mold and streaked with slime , forlonly squatting on flat bald tires ... peppered with corrosion. She's been gutshot , caught in the crossfire of divorce. I peered in through the time blurred panes ... but her soul was dead.

I pondered of the joy she'd given up to Aviators past as I shuffled on pat the Murphy Moose ... flew like a moose but I sure liked the way she felt on the stick. At the end of the row is a .... well .... contraption I'd say.
Canary yellow , boxy , slots , slats and other gizmos. Looks like it was designed by some mad German scientist trapped in the jungle somewhere. I've never seen it fly.. Would I? Dunno... I'll give it some thought.
I felt as if I was at a peep show as I stole a peek between the hangar doors hoping to catch the slutty little Pitts S1S undressing or something.
I felt a stir in my loins as I remembered riding her hard. Beside her , Bill's sleek Lancair speedster. Gotta get a ride someday and the DeHavilland Dove... mostly forgotten , cloaked in controversy... she still has a few revs left in her I'll bet.

A Cessna 150 on final ... I wince at his excessive speed carrying him well beyond the threshold to touch down a third the way down the 4000 foot runway.

Old Peter Deck would have winced too.

Next will be his story.
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Duke Elegant
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Post by Duke Elegant » Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:01 pm

.

There was a time when I was at the top of my game.

From my cheery office in a sunny corner of the Chilliwack Terminal building I rode herd over a couple of King Air 100's , two hard working Navajo's and two Cessna 177 Cardinals that served as ab inition trainers , rental aircraft and single engine charter planes. We were in the final stages of a purchase of a Cessna Caravan on amphibious floats. The Cardinal experiment successfully proved the versality of that airplane.

I had a personal Cessna 150 that I block time rented to our recent private pilot graduates. It was also my personal steed that I flogged hard on the weekends to Vancouver Island where my slim beauty awaited me in her Sproat Lake home blessed with a boat dock and boatshed.

I sometimes arrived in style with lots of pomp and ceromony as I was often flown there in the C150 by Abdul , a recent graduate from our school. he was from India and paid me huge amounts of money for the pleasure of doing so.... and in advance too.

Sometimes it's tough being a Duke.
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Post by Cat Driver » Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:30 pm

When are you coming over?
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After over a half a century of flying no one ever died because of my decision not to fly.

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Post by Duke Elegant » Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:48 pm

I am sure it will be Sunday. I will phone Sunday AM.
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Post by Duke Elegant » Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:37 pm

Here is a link showing the sistership to "Hyperlas" , the 54 foot yacht that I have been invited to crew next month on her maiden voyage from San Francisco to Vancouver.

Image

Interestingly , the skipper/owner is the chap that made me fly his Pitts S1S.

We are setting up an e-mail reporting system where our progress can be charted online.

Should be fun.

Sometimes it's tough being a Duke.
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Post by Duke Elegant » Wed Mar 31, 2004 10:38 pm

.

I have been somewhat tardy in writing lately mainly due to a daunting event regarding my upcoming date with infinity.

The oncologist sat across the table from me at the Surrey Cancer Clinic and told me his version on my situation.

He told me I was going to die.

Pain management is the next thing for me , he says.

With movements devoid of flourish and with a professional monotone , he explained with the use of graphs and statistics that the general population survived this long if you did this... blah blah blah....this long if you did that....blah blah blah...

I spied the weakness in his arguement right there : I pounced !!

"How dare you include me in the "general population !" says I ... he laughed.

So anyhow , we disagree on when this event is forecast to occur.

I told him I will continue to buy green bananas.
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Post by Phlyer » Wed Mar 31, 2004 11:14 pm

I look forward to your stories greatly. I hope I will get to read many more of them - better still to meet you and hear them first hand.
Keep up the good fight Duke - my prayers are with you.
FF
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