Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel
/forum/topic/600984/3761

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stevezzzz
Registered: Aug 01, 2010
Total Posts: 3266
Country: United States

Gosh, Matt, that really brings this tragedy to a personal level. I hope you forgive my analyzing the video; we pilots tend to do that, not to be ghoulish but to try and learn something we can use to save our own hides the next time we go up.

At any rate, I'm sorry you have to live with the bad memories, to go with the good.

[edit for TOPP. I'm on my iPad so the selection is limited...and you've already seen most of them ]



mrkyle
Registered: Jul 06, 2008
Total Posts: 594
Country: United States

stevez wrote:
Gosh, Matt, that really brings this tragedy to a personal level. I hope you forgive my analyzing the video; we pilots tend to do that, not to be ghoulish but to try and learn something we can use to save our own hides the next time we go up.

At any rate, I'm sorry you have to live with the bad memories, to go with the good.


Nothing to forgive, I too looked at a few videos and wondered what could have gone wrong. I'm not a pilot but I have flown R/C sailplanes for a long time and certainly have enough knowledge to be dangerous. You can learn from others mistakes but in this case even though I did not know them well it made what was a tragic event to witness just that much harder to move on from.



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 16036
Country: United States

Dear Matt,

What a wonderful experience you enjoyed with them earlier, and what a stark contrast in conclusion. My heart goes out to you. None of you will be "over" it any time soon. The mind is a funny thing, Tony could tell us much more about how it works in these situations, and how it parses what it needs to so we can cope.

You aren't going to feel normal for awhile, don't try to. Yesterday as I walked out of the hangar I looked up at Glenn's picture, talked idiotically to him for about five minutes, put the door down and drove away. I still haven't fully processed the loss, maybe never will. And Sheila and I have lost family in a variety of terrible ways, so we're not strangers to loss. It just doesn't get any easier.

FWIW, I think Zim's analysis, and mine are pretty accurate. Lot's of little factors just lined up at the wrong time, the wing stalled and that was it. I've said it a number of times, to survive in the air show business you have to be at 110% of your best, every time, and that is humanly impossible. When I look at the list of my friends, literally the best of the best, they went out at a point where their best just wasn't at the required 110% level that day for whatever reason, and it got them. Some acts like Franklin, Leroy, etc, just kept getting further and further out there in the realm of risk, and pure statistics/odds go into play. You do that long enough, it is going to get you. Yesterday was just one of those flukes where conditions conspired and lined up for a tragedy.

Charlie dies in a landing roll accident, Glenn is lost doing a simple break that he had practiced six times the day before. This is all the stuff that swirls through my head as I raise the hangar door. If it can happen to them...............................Certainly, what they do raises the risk bar to a level I have less than zero interest in approaching. On the other hand, I have lost a number of friends in general aviation shortly after the words, "let me show you this..." were spoken. No one is immune.



Colin Giersberg
Registered: Jun 01, 2008
Total Posts: 2080
Country: United States

I hope what I say below doesn't come across in a bad way, I just have a difficult time expressing my thoughts in matters like these.

Matt, even though this ended in tragedy for Jane and Charlie, and your most vivid memories are of the accident, try to dwell on the enjoyment that you had before the accident. They enjoyed what they were doing and knew the risks involved. Even at that, they enjoyed their work performing.



NightOwl Cat
Registered: Feb 19, 2007
Total Posts: 7620
Country: United States

Erich just went for a Cobra ride and I may go on a Huey



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 16036
Country: United States

Well said Colin.

Go Laura!!



mrkyle
Registered: Jul 06, 2008
Total Posts: 594
Country: United States

NightOwl Cat wrote:
Erich just went for a Cobra ride and I may go on a Huey



I do hope you go and enjoy it. It was on my weekend list but it kinda got tossed aside.



mrkyle
Registered: Jul 06, 2008
Total Posts: 594
Country: United States

JWilsonphoto wrote:
Dear Matt,

What a wonderful experience you enjoyed with them earlier, and what a stark contrast in conclusion. My heart goes out to you. None of you will be "over" it any time soon. The mind is a funny thing, Tony could tell us much more about how it works in these situations, and how it parses what it needs to so we can cope.

You aren't going to feel normal for awhile, don't try to. Yesterday as I walked out of the hangar I looked up at Glenn's picture, talked idiotically to him for about five minutes, put the door down and drove away. I still haven't fully processed the loss, maybe never will. And Sheila and I have lost family in a variety of terrible ways, so we're not strangers to loss. It just doesn't get any easier.

FWIW, I think Zim's analysis, and mine are pretty accurate. Lot's of little factors just lined up at the wrong time, the wing stalled and that was it. I've said it a number of times, to survive in the air show business you have to be at 110% of your best, every time, and that is humanly impossible. When I look at the list of my friends, literally the best of the best, they went out at a point where their best just wasn't at the required 110% level that day for whatever reason, and it got them. Some acts like Franklin, Leroy, etc, just kept getting further and further out there in the realm of risk, and pure statistics/odds go into play. You do that long enough, it is going to get you. Yesterday was just one of those flukes where conditions conspired and lined up for a tragedy.

Charlie dies in a landing roll accident, Glenn is lost doing a simple break that he had practiced six times the day before. This is all the stuff that swirls through my head as I raise the hangar door. If it can happen to them...............................Certainly, what they do raises the risk bar to a level I have less than zero interest in approaching. On the other hand, I have lost a number of friends in general aviation shortly after the words, "let me show you this..." were spoken. No one is immune.


Thanks for the kind words. Just talking about it is helping me work through it. I'm not usually the type to let these things out in the wild but I just had to get it off my chest.


Here is one part of the happy side of the weekend. My wife took this image shortly after we landed.

Jane of course is on the left, me in the middle and Rock Skowbow who was my pilot.


Group shot by VO Pro 22, on Flickr



mrkyle
Registered: Jul 06, 2008
Total Posts: 594
Country: United States

Colin Giersberg wrote:
I hope what I say below doesn't come across in a bad way, I just have a difficult time expressing my thoughts in matters like these.

Matt, even though this ended in tragedy for Jane and Charlie, and your most vivid memories are of the accident, try to dwell on the enjoyment that you had before the accident. They enjoyed what they were doing and knew the risks involved. Even at that, they enjoyed their work performing.


Colin I'm right with you in the thought expression department, I too have a hard time putting my thoughts down in a coherent way in writing. Hell I have a hard time being coherent in any form Feels good to grin a bit. And speaking of goofy grinning here is a shot of me,again taken by my lovely wife. Jane was acting goofy and looking for a big Thumbs up and a smile for a twitter feed picture. I look like the cat who ate the canary!


Thumbs up. by VO Pro 22, on Flickr



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 16036
Country: United States

What a wonderful memory, and all due to your generosity with your imagery. Well done Matt!



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 16036
Country: United States

Here's a memory from Ohio.....................



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 16036
Country: United States

RTB just outside of Grimes....................... what an evening.



NightOwl Cat
Registered: Feb 19, 2007
Total Posts: 7620
Country: United States

Matt, you've got a very nice memory of your trip then. I would have loved to have had a flight like that, but maybe not the acrobatics. The Huey was enough for me, the camera I had with me doesn't have a strap and I was in an outside seat. We wound up doing some jinking over an area about a mile from my house. If I'd have known, I'd have taken a camera with a strap. Luckily the camera stayed with me. I'm not a roller coaster person either. If you were on the left side of the pit, then you probably did see us, as we were on the left side of that wonderful speaker array. I was the one with a manual focus lens, from which the photos I posted earlier were shot with.

mrkyle wrote:
Laura and the rest of the gang that was in Dayton Saturday,

I probably saw some of you on the photo tour and did not even know it. I have been really busy with my life & work and have not spent a lot of time lately looking at all of the fantastic images from you talented folks or taking photos of my own.

After the Indianapolis show got canceled I was very much looking forward to going to Dayton. I was hoping to meet a few of the folks who hang out here but never had the time to check in and make arrangements.

I was also very excited to be in Dayton for another reason. I was going to do a short hop in "Aurora" Jane Wickers Stearman as a thank you for allowing them to use of one my images in the design of some of their merchandise items. My wife and I drove down Friday and met Jane and the gang at the airport around 4pm.

I flew in Aurora with Rock at the controls and had a grand time. It was my first flight in an open cockpit plane and my first time doing some aerobatics. WOW even though I am blessed with a wimpy stomach I was having way too much fun to think about getting sick. Rock let me fly the plane a bit, another first for me. They even mounted a go-pro on the tail to get video for me.

While I was up making holes in the sky my wife was getting to know Jane, Charlie and Brian back at the Wright Aero hanger. She later commented to me that they were a great group of people. We came back and they all signed one of the shirts for me and we had a little photo op in front of the plane.

That was one of the most exciting things I have done in a long time, and now it seems so small and trivial as my wife and I witnessed Saturdays tragic event up close. We were along the fence line just left of the photo pit. I was shooting as the plane went down trying real hard to get a few really nice shots to send them as a thank you. I have not brought myself to look at any of the photos

After it happened I just sat back down stunned, It probably took me 10 minutes to actually process what I just saw. I just knew that they could not have survived that crash. I suppose it took another ten minutes for me to snap out of it and decide that even if the show went on I was done for the day. We packed up and took the long slow back roads way home. I was in no shape to be on I-75.

I later found out that indeed they both had died in the crash.

After spending a short amount of time with all of the Jane Wicker crew it was obvious that they loved what they we doing, even with the crazy schedules they all kept. Having met them and talking with them and knowing a little about them and then witnessing the crash it hit me a little hard.

I commented to my wife early Saturday morning that any day you can see an F-86 and a B-29 is going to be a good day, but I was wrong. I'm still feeling, actually I'm not really sure how I feel I just know I don't feel normal. I do however feel a little better after telling this story. Thanks for listening.

Regards to all

Matt



NightOwl Cat
Registered: Feb 19, 2007
Total Posts: 7620
Country: United States

I did. . Not much of a roller coaster person, but I made it back to terra firma I just didn't want to see camera and lens tumble out, especially since I would have been driving those roads back home and would have seen the pieces...

JWilsonphoto wrote:
Well said Colin.

Go Laura!!



gerov
Registered: Nov 29, 2004
Total Posts: 8664
Country: United States

JWilsonphoto wrote:
Here's a memory from Ohio.....................



Jim,
This looks like it could have been taken on mission 70 years ago. Nice conversion.

Gero



BillyBlaylock
Registered: Aug 22, 2004
Total Posts: 67
Country: United States

Prayers go out to all touched by the Dayton accident. Nothing takes the sting out of such a horrible event as knowledge that someone involved knew Christ as their savior.

We spent our Saturday at a local lake with friends and family. Although it was a long day of paddle boats, fishing, cooking and talking I am thankful for the ability to do so. It was one of those times where you were taught a lesson and didn't know it. Sometimes you just need to be still and listen to what is being said.



NightOwl Cat
Registered: Feb 19, 2007
Total Posts: 7620
Country: United States

few from today, before I fall into bed



Razor17
Registered: Oct 08, 2012
Total Posts: 302
Country: United States

JWilsonphoto wrote:
RTB just outside of Grimes....................... what an evening.



Jim, was this Saturday night at the Mustangs and Legends? They ran everyone off about an hour after the show ended and I had to watch you all fly around as we were stuck in traffic.

Lynn



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 16036
Country: United States

Hi Lynn,

No, but I have similar images from every evening/dawn at The Gathering as well. That one was from a dusk mission at The Raiders Anniversary a couple of years ago.



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 16036
Country: United States

Dear Geaux,

Man, you said it all my friend. That is it in a nutshell. Thank you for the clarity.



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