“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times“. I wanted to start this entry with a simple WE DID IT. And we did do it too, or rather she did it. Elizabeth flew the remaining 2+ hours in poor conditions this afternoon (low haze and approaching weather), and I have made the appropriate entry in the aircraft log. She is legal, she can fly anywhere she wants now, with non-participants on board, so to speak.
But that is tempered by another tragic loss in the community, as another Velocity is down, this time it’s N415MK, with 3 souls lost. It’s been a tough year for our community. First Uli was seriously hurt and 3 were killed in March, then Steve Goldman passed away and 2 were lost in an accident in N269VE at St. Augustine in July, Jack’s eRacer burnt up in June, and now this. So, as happy as we are, it is metered. More so now that the media are reporting that apparently the owner was not aboard N415MK, that it had only 5 hours, and a 40 year veteran was at the helm. I’m worried that perhaps our friend and mentor Dave Bertram might have been test flying this aircraft. I pray not, though it seems wicked to wish the ill fall upon someone else, but I do with all my heart.
Update: We are hearing now that the pilot was Mack Murphree, a pillar of our community, a 40 year pilot and A&P who’s done many first flight for folks, and had a ton of hours in the Velocity. We’re shocked and sadden by the news, which is a painful reminder that ‘but for the grace of God, there go I’. God be with you, Mack.
Posted By: Brett FerrellFriday August 22nd, 2008 at 8:07 PM