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Old 02-07-2009, 04:17 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Out west
Posts: 3,298
Default Re: "We'll Be In The Hudson"

Mike Boehler - 2/7/2009 2:24 PM

My father was a WWII flight instructor and pilot. Flew a zillion hours in all kinds of crafts. After the war, he made money on the side giving lessons at the local airfields to afford Dental School. (He passed away in 1992 at the age of 76)

Anyway, Dad reported two "forced" landings in his career. One on a beach in Georgia, and the other in a farmers field somewhere out west. Each time, there was water in his fuel. I guess they had E 10 problems back then just like we have them now.

I always recall being mystified with my father's telling of those tales. He told me you really get to know your flying skills when your engine quit's and there's no air field in sight. I don't know squat about flying, but he tells of trying to restart his prop by briefly diving. And then describes the quiet searching for a place to "put her down." "No use in getting excited," he said. "Hah!!!" Then there's the power lines, and fences, and who knows what else.

I don't think Sully had the glide time my dad had. That big jet of his was falling like a brick. God bless him for landing, and getting lucky. (I'm sure he'll acknowledge good fortune somewhere)

Another thing he mentioned was how smooth pastures and beaches look from above. Ant mounds tore off his tail dragger wheel, and the rilles and ridges along the beach are not discernable from the air. Says cows started chewing on his plane after it was down.

Anyway, forced landings and a growing family drove him away from aviation. (Seven of us kids) "Heck," he said, "I had a family to support." Had job offers from Eastern Airlines to fly to Ireland, or Sao Paulo Brazil after the war. Went back to college instead.

Anyway's Mike, your forced landing reminded me of my father, and his adventures. He loved to fly, and "it really burns me to have to pay my own money to fly an airplane!!!" He was used to flying courtesy of Uncle Sam.

Glad you survived your experience. You have a lifetime memory, and can appreciate more than many, what Sully had to deal with.
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