Life is too short. I have heard it before but every now and then it just hits you.
Earlier this month, I called up my buddy and asked him if he wanted to go fly that sweet RV7 of his. I helped rebuild it, and we have become friends in the process. We go flying sometimes and share that RV grin even in these strange Covid times.
It was a gloomy fall afternoon and the view was kind of hazy. I always get the right seat, but he lets me yank and bank her around as I please. Sometimes I even get to land. “What a sweet airplane”, I thought. On the way back to the airport we talked about our mutual friend and fellow RV Pilot who, at the time was in the hospital with medical issues. These are really terrible times to be stuck in a hospital when people can’t even come visit you. We decided to do a fly-over and did three steep turns right over the building. It was our way of saying hello and wishing him well.
Meanwhile, a few sun rays had made their way through the clouds. It looked quite beautiful.
Little did we know that our dear friend passed away this very day and us doing circles over the hospital would actually be goodbye for good. Call it coincidence or fate, I sure didn’t see this coming. I had no idea it was this serious. I want to say thank you for the time we shared. I will do it here because there will not be a funeral. There is a chance, we would not have met if he didn’t happen to have an RV. I was new at the airport and was walking through the hangers looking at everyone’s pride and joy. There he was, giving his yellow RV a bath. He also took me up for my first RV ride. The RV was grin permanently installed! I started building shortly thereafter. We started talking, became friends and the rest is history.
Like most of us here I love, live and breathe aviation. But this past week I was reminded that airplanes and specially RV’s are not just toys, flying carpets, time machines, or simply put some of the most kick *** airplanes out and about. They are so much more. They connect like-minded people, create amazing friendships, help us discuss issues, learn from mistakes and become better pilots even when we don’t always agree on everything. Prime wars, LOP vs. ROP and drilling carburetor jets come to mind. But it is all in good fun, no matter if you are dreaming, building, flying or just talking about it.
It also happens to be the only community of friends I have where age is no factor. He was over twice my age and it didn’t matter one bit.
Rest in peace old friend.
Follow your bliss and enjoy the freedom and beauty of flight.