Sunday, March 26, 2006

Remembering Flipper

(click to BIGGIFY)

Thirteen years and 31 days ago,
my flight instructor went for a routine
solo check flight, after maintenance.
Somehow, between the time he took off
and the time he landed,
he had engaged the parking brake!
The instant his wheels hit the runway.
the wheels were locked up,
and this absolultely beautiful work of art
flipped over on its back
and was completely destroyed.
It doesn't look so bad in this photo,
but there was not an unbroken part on it.

Thankfully, the pilot was unhurt.
Except for his pride.
I didn't fly with him after that.

Needless to say,
since it was my airplane,
it was not a good day for me.

I sent the pile of pieces
back to the Waco factory
and had them build a fresh one for me.
They rebuilt the pieces of the broken one
and sold it to a guy in Germany
who had it for about 10 years.

About six months ago,
I got an email from another German pilot
who said he was interested in buying my old airplane,
and heard that it had been wrecked,
and did I have any photos of it at that time.
I replied that I had some photos,
but that my scanner was FUBAR
and that I would send him the photos
as soon as I got my scanner fixed.

I didn't move too fast on that scanner fix,
and in the meantime the guy bought the biplane
even without seeing what the wreck looked like.
I guess it would be like wanting to see
what your girlfriend looked like before her nose job.

Yesterday I got my scanner fixed.
So I got the photos, scanned them and sent them.
Click on the small photo for a closeup!

From that day forward,
we referred to that instructor as



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