entered the gate at the airport one day,
I was surprised to see an airplane I once
owned parked in front of the FBO.
It had been at least 10 years since
Id seen her, and it struck me as
peculiar that she looked just the same.
The paint, the panel, radios, even
the worn cowling bolts Id become so
well acquainted with, were still intact.
many fond memories in that airplane. Some
advanced training, adventures, flights
into bad weather, good weather, and of
introducing my daughters to flying. I was
always amazed at how a 10 year old child
could make the manoeuvres so
precisely and easily. Must have
been from playing all those video games.
its natural to wonder about an
airplanes history, where its been,
whos owned it, all that stuff. But
there was no one around to ask at that
point, so I carried on with my business.
incident got me thinking about the planes
and vehicles Ive bought and sold in
the past. I often wonder what
became of one particular airplane, a
Renegade, which after rebuilding and
flying for one glorious summer, I sold to
a fellow from Washington State. We
exchanged a few e-mails, one in which he
described how a wheel had departed the
plane on landing one day, and the lower
wing was damaged. But after that,
I heard nothing more. Hows
she doing now as an American citizen? I
boats, motorcycles, furniture, clothing,
tools, appliances, all the things we
own in our lifetime, are
really disposables. They come and they go
through our lives, providing utility,
enjoyment and comfort. In this society,
its just our stuff.
Some things last longer than others. I
asked a farmer one day how much land he
owned. His response is probably what got
me considering all this in the first
place None, he said.
Im just the caretaker for
now. This land will be here long after
Im gone, and someone else will be
looking after it.
right of course. The land isnt
disposable, or temporary, or throw-away.
Society seems to think that way, but the
farmer, the man who owes his very
existence to it, has a much greater
respect and understanding ofthe issue.
enjoyment, utility, learning, memories
and pleasure we get from an airplane, it
would seem fitting that they should be
around for at least our lifetime. And of
course, many are. Some fly regularly,
while others we have to go to museums or
airshows to see. The point is, to a
pilot, navigator, or anyone connected
with aviation, understands, respects and
tends to preserve airplanes, much like
the farmer and his land. A machine that
was built 50 or 60 years ago from metal,
wood, fabric and a bunch of fittings, can
still be flying today. Proof that
with care, love and attention, most of
our disposables could last at least a bit
longer than they do.
wont go there. Lets
just be grateful there are farmers and
pilots around, who love the land and
their airplanes enough to give the care
needed so another generation can enjoy
the same experiences we have today.