The missing airplane

This slightly overwrought video by someone who really should reconsider his video hosting career made me miss Lee, my late business partner.

Lee had his own plane, which we would take to our consulting business meetings that were within flying distance. Whenever there was a mysterious plane crash, or a crash that resembled situations we’d been in, I’d ask him about it – like the time a commuter plane crashed in Indiana because its wings iced up. We’d been flying once in freezing rain to a meeting in Vermont, and the wings iced up. My job was to watch the wing on my side and estimate the thickness of this ice – not sure why,  since we were over the mountains, and couldn’t decrease our altitude to get to warmer air. We made it to Burlington; that worked out – but I remember him saying that commuter plane had been in the same situation. (Never told my mother that story.)

So, once we were flying to a meeting in Manhattan, planning to land at Peterborough airport in New Jersey. Suddenly the alternator light went on. Now this had happened to me in my car, and I knew the thing to do was shut down as many electrical systems as possible, so I didn’t panic when Lee started flipping lots of switches. Most everything went off, except the radio. He called an emergency to the control tower that had us at that point, and they cleared the air for us to the nearest airport – I forget exactly where it was. (We were late to our meeting, but they loved the story. I didn’t tell my mother about that either.)

The point of all these scary stories is a small one. I just can’t remember if Lee shut the transponder off, but I think so. I think that’s why they had to clear the air, because they could no longer see where we were. I’d just love to hear his take on what happened to that plane; about whether the transponder business is a big deal or not.

I wonder if we’ll ever know what happened over there.

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