Sunday, June 14, 2020

A Good Last Day

I was pleased when a couple of weeks back the owner of Costa's Flying Service told me that Lou would be Luke's CFI (Certified Flight Instructor). I've met Lou numerous times. He's flown our Civil Air Patrol Cadets at least once, not to mention he was previously in CAP. I think his membership predated the current members of our Squadron for the most part, but I knew that he and Luke would hit it off. 

Well, I knew they would hit it off eventually. Although Luke is well spoken around adults and confident, he does tend to be on the shy side of things and I was pretty sure Lou also was on the quiet side. This past Friday at work I got the text message that Luke was on his way home from flying and that he had stories. 

When I called on my way home to see if I could coax the stories out of him, Luke said that I had to wait for supper when we had longer to talk. He had been flying on one Cessna in particular, but they had to fly an older one for lessons on Friday as the plane Luke was used to flying had to have 100 hour maintenance done. The older plane Luke wasn't used to gave Lou and Luke a little bit of a hard time. 

First the pre-flight inspection was different as items were switched around and then the headsets stopped working when they did finally get off the ground. You can't hear over the engine while flying so you can imagine there was a bit of yelling as Luke interpreted what Lou was asking him to do. After landing the first time, they were able to work the kinks out with the headsets. Despite these complications, Luke had enjoyed his time in the air and told me that he thought he and Lou were finally starting to bond. Lou had told him about his time in the Army at one point Friday. It had been a beautiful day to fly. I've been with Luke after he lands  and he gets all shiny happy. I imagine Lou probably thought that was pretty cool. 

Later that night I got a text message that Lou had been out walking his dog and had been found unresponsive on the sidewalk and had passed away. Luke was crushed. I'm pretty sure Luke was Lou's last lesson. At least he got to spend the day with one of the best kids I know up above the clouds. That's a good last day. 

Later, I asked Luke if he could have landed if something bad had happened to Lou while they were flying. He said yes, I could have landed. It would have sucked and I probably would have wanted to stop flying for a while. However, I know what to do in an emergency. That made me feel better. 

I asked him this on our way back from junkin. He had managed to score a really old CRT monitor that was small enough for his F-16 project and a handful of servos, so he was feeling the glow after a successful hunt and I thought that he might be willing to talk a little. He had initially wanted to take a week off flying, but his new flight instructor informed him that he would be back in the air on Tuesday. I think when Luke does finally solo that we'll have a quiet moment for Lou and to thank him for his last final instruction. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, it was an amazing story that showed how much Luke enjoys flying, and bonding with was crushing to hear that Lou passed away out walking his dog. On the other hand it was a good 'way to go'...and a memory for Luke of Lou. Reassuringly, it was good to hear that Luke knew what to do if that had happened while flying...


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