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#1861456
Next Sunday, 1st August 2007 will be 13 years to the day since my life was saved by an ATC at Blackpool who is/was a member here. I was flying solo home to Carlisle from Liverpool in a Pa28. Weather at Liverpool was CAVOK when I set off but I ran into cloud at the north end of Morecambe Bay. Climbed to 6,500 feet in the hope of flying VFR above cloud but still in cloud. A few scary oscillations before I managed to safely trim the aircraft, in the process of which I must have bumped the giro setting out to an incorrect reading. I had the plate for an NDB/DME descent into Carlisle on my kneepad. Thus far I only had a DME reading from Wirral and not picking up one from Carlisle. I had done the NDB/DME approach into Carlisle a few times with an experienced co-pilot but never solo. Carlisle weather was below my minima on a PPL/IMC, but pressonitis had kicked in as my late wife Ann's carer finished at 6 and I need to get home so I would go for it. Suddenly there was a ripping sound as the descent plate for Carlisle was torn from my kneepad and tossed into the furthest back corner of the 'plane. As I spun round to look for it, could have sworn I saw my dad in the co-pilot seat, his left hand on the throttle quadrant and his right hand on the RHS control yoke. As my head turned back, of course he wasn't really there because he had died three years earlier. Alone in a four seat plane in cloud, should I divert to NCL - no they are fogged in also and the last thing they need is to talk doan an amateur. Fly through the fog to Prestwick which was clear - how to get home from there? Then I recalled I had talked to Blackpool on the way north and still had one radio on their frequency. I requested a weather diversion. Fortunately the owner had fitted a transponder. Blackpool radar picked me up near Stocks Reservoir, well to the east of my intended track. It soon became apparent to the controller that I was failing to follow his instructions and he gave me amended headings to compensate for my giro being inaccurate. He talked me down to overhead the M6 near Forton Services, where I broke out of cloud safe of the high ground of the Lake District and flew visual into Blackpool. Ever so thankful to be back on the deck. This adventure could have gone so horribly wrong. Last month I celebrated my 70th birthday, no longer flying, but I would not have been here today to enjoy life but for that experienced ATC in Blackpool.
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By T6Harvard
#1861464
Wow, that was some experience you had there. Gave me goosebumps reading all of it. Kudos to ATC, and you.

I see you say you are not flying atm.
Are you a Club member anywhere? If it is a passion you should keep involved in some way, maybe?

I only discovered the addictive nature of flying last year but it has opened up so many great experiences (and a few woeful ones :lol: ) as I endeavour to get a licence.
#1861658
I got grounded at the end of 2009 following the first of two deep vein thromboses which meant I had to start taking blood thinner pills. I have the memories, many happy ones and a few scary moments. Once you get your licence you have so much more freedom. The flying school which I learned with, which has since closed, had a policy of encouraging pairs of newly qualified pilots to fly trips together, one flying as P1 outbound and the other the return leg, where you would look after each other while you gained experience. The guy whom I usually flew with is also no longer flying but I still keep in contact with him.
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By Rob P
#1861670
cessna152towser wrote:The flying school which I learned with, which has since closed, had a policy of encouraging pairs of newly qualified pilots to fly trips together, one flying as P1 outbound and the other the return leg, where you would look after each other while you gained experience. The guy whom I usually flew with is also no longer flying but I still keep in contact with him.


Ditto. And that was thirty + years ago. Lifelong friends.

He was an especially valuable flying buddy as, for health reasons, he couldn't drink alcohol. I generally flew outbound.

Rob P
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By TopCat
#1861816
cessna152towser wrote: Suddenly there was a ripping sound as the descent plate for Carlisle was torn from my kneepad and tossed into the furthest back corner of the 'plane. As I spun round to look for it, could have sworn I saw my dad in the co-pilot seat, his left hand on the throttle quadrant and his right hand on the RHS control yoke. As my head turned back, of course he wasn't really there...

I'm intrigued by this detail.

Presumably your dad grabbed it, as he would have known already that Carlisle was a bad idea - as it turned out.

But was there an alternative explanation for this that the sceptics would be happy with?
#1861869
I have to confess to being truly spooked at that moment. True that there was an air flow into the aircraft from front to back, but to this day I still can't comprehend how an approach plate which was clamped to the kneepad with a very firm spring somehow managed to get pulled loose and thrown into the furthest back corner of the 'plane. I still struggle to comprehend that moment. I'm not a religious person and not attended church in many years, yet it was as though my dad had come back to signal "this is not your time yet, don't attempt a landing at Carlisle". Since that day in 2007 I had a whole new life ahead of me which I could never have foreseen at the time. I was forced into early retirement from the legal profession in 2009, the same year when I Iost my PPL, had twelve years in a new and very enjoyable job as a bus driver, wife died and I married again and acquired a step-daughter. During my flying years I had often seen lorries and buses maneouvring between traffic cones on the disused runway on the far side of the airport, from a driving school over the other side, never thought I might go there one day. Then the 2008/9 recession came along, and I was looking for a new job with nothing available in my profession. Even the law firm which had unsuccessfully tried to head hunt me two years earlier was now laying off staff. At 58 I reckoned I was too young to retire yet too old to start with truck driving, living in a cab and tightening up ratchet straps on curtain trailers so I went instead for the class D bus licence. I only once got to drive a bus in the morning and fly a Cessna Skyhawk in the same afternoon as there was only a short overlap between my flying days and my bus driving days. Even now I still dream of flying a plane, driving a bus, or arguing a difficult case in court while feeling guilty i am no longer qualified to do any of those things. And, yes, my dad often features in those dreams. The human mind is a strange thing.
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By TopCat
#1861874
cessna152towser wrote:The human mind is a strange thing.

For sure. If you haven't already, I'd recommend reading Richard Bach.

Most of the time, I'm a hard-headed rationalist, convinced that only science is a reliable way of knowing what is true.

Just occasionally, however, reading accounts like yours .... :shock:
By ROG
#1863200
A TRUE SPOOKY STORY
This is a true story,
Many years ago I used to work abroad for short periods up to month or so.
On one trip to Barbados I found myself sitting next to a family of four-mum dad plus 2 children. Club class.
I noticed that the dad was getting a lot of attention from the cabin crew. , and thought the fares club class for a family was not cheap.
It"s an 8 hour flight and so after I asked the guy if they were going on holiday. --which they were. I then said "you work for BA don"t you--he laughed and said yes .How do you work that out out. Bit obvious , I replied--lots of attention plus family. It transpired that he was a BA
training captain.
Anyway during the flight we had a chat and I ended up taking them around the island--company car--and did some babysitting with my secretary-miss x while they went out for evening meals
Subsequently I met up a couple of time and went to farnborough with him.. After a couple of years-he lived some distance away we lost touch.
A years later a friend mentioned a TV programme about "fear of flying" . I watched it--there was my old "friend".
Itold my flying mate who"d told me about it and said i"d seen it. He then said pity that the guy in it died.
What do you mean .I asked--. Apparenltly at the end of the programme there was a note which I hadnt seen "dedicated to Captain O"
Go forward 3 years. Returning from Weymouth I stop at southampton Or thereabouts for a break and a drink. To get a bit of exercise I went for a short walk. Suddenly see supermarine museum-so go on. I walk around I notice a section devoted to BA HAMBLE.. I n a case there is a book --list of each class of students -the page is turned daily. At the top of the page is my old friend-top cadet.
Someone out there may know who i"m talking about--it"d DO.
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By T6Harvard
#1863209
Ok, here's another massive coincidence for this intriguing thread.....

About 8 years ago a dear family friend in her 90's died.
She was the widow of the author of the Onedin Line books and TV series.

My Mum had accompanied her to London many years earlier, to watch some of the filming of the TV show, and they had dined aboard the principle ship used for the relevant scenes, namely the Christian Radich, a beautiful Norwegian sailing vessel. The Captain and crew had made a big fuss of both ladies and they had a wonderful time.

The lady and her late husband were both from Liverpool and she had left instructions that upon her death her ashes were to be scattered on the Mersey.

Mersey ferries offer this service on certain crossings, with a well organised stop in mid-channel, a private area for mourners and the necessary chute for dispersal.

On the morning in question we waited for the ferry on the Wirral side, gazing across the river to the famous Liverpool waterfront. My mum suddenly pointed and said, "Look, there's the Christian Radich!". Now my Mum is known for her vivid imagination so we assumed that the sailing ship anchored at the waterfront was, well, any old ship, but very nice anyway.
However, someone in the funeral party whipped out their phone, checked the whereabouts of the Christian Radich and sure enough it was her. As we got nearer of course we could read the name for ourselves.

I can't tell you how special that made the event.
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