3 years ago

March 2020 Blues Vol 36 No 3

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The BLUES Police Magazine, March 2020 Blues Vol 36 No 3


WORDS by MICHAEL BARRON guys wanting to make a report for your insurance company or where you just here to check on the pilot?” “Naw sir, we don’t need no report, but we sure would like to know if they drowned or not.” “Tell you what, why don’t you guys have a seat in the lobby and let me check on something for you.” I went back to the FBO lobby and asked the customer service agent if she know knew who was flying the Cessna parked out on the ramp. She said no, BUT there was a student pilot that had been hanging out in the pilot’s lounge since daybreak. Uh the poor guy was trembling and could barely stand, he was shaking so bad. “Yes sir, well I think so, well I don’t know. I thought it was the runway I was lined up on, then there was a thump, and I went back up into the air for a few seconds and then I saw the runway pop out of the clouds and I landed. I was so scared I came in here, and I’ve been here ever since sir.” “Well sir, that bounce you described was ma and pa’s camper truck that you landed right down the middle of it. Where did you say you were from? “Little Rock sir” “Get the hell out. Come with me son.” I walked him into the lobby and introduced him to his fellow Arkansans. “Ma. Pa. This is the young man that landed on your camper. He’s from Little Rock too.” I left them hugging in the lobby and thought that was one lucky young man. Once the fog cleared, we looked at his airplane, decided it was air worthy and sent him back too Little Rock by way of Dallas. Hell of a first solo war story for him to tell for sure. The following day proved to be just as adventurous. I received a call from the Sheriff over in Chambers County around noon, and he asked the strangest question. “Hey Barron, is it possible turning at 8,000 feet in the air? “It’s not a Red Cessna 152 is it Sheriff?” I asked “Why no, why do you ask?” “Never mind, why do you ask if you can fall out? Did someone fall out?” “Yes, yes someone supposedly fell out of a pilot’s airplane and he’s here at the Beaumont airport trying to make a report” said the somewhat bewildered Sheriff. “No sir it’s virtually impossible to fall out while turning” “Barron, you mind flying over here and talking to this young man. Cause he’s pretty adamite that a man fell out of his airplane and he’s pretty upset to say the least.” “Sure Sheriff, I’ll be there in within the hour.” I grabbed one of our observers and headed towards the Beaumont Regional Airport. It’s about a 55-minute flight but with a tailwind pushing us the entire way, we made great time. As soon as we taxied up the ramp, we had the Chief of Airport Security and the Sheriff waiting to meet us. “Well Sheriff let’s go meet this daredevil of a pilot. I can’t wait to hear this story.” So, we headed upstairs to the airport office and inside a small conference room was a young man not more than 25 yrs. old wearing a polo shirt that said flight instructor. I introduced myself, sat down and said, “so you were out flying, made a steep turn and BAM the door popped open and your student just “fell out.” Is that what you’re telling the Sheriff? “Yes sir, that’s what happened” Uh Huh. Just like that. You Flying for Galveston County was they defiantly had a country top of that big ole camper were no doubt some of the best years look about them for sure. “Yes two black tire tread marks. Well I had in Law Enforcement. And ma’am, how can I help you?” it definitely looks like something working at Scholes Field in Galveston “Well sir, Pa and I were adrivin’ hit the top of your camper for created a lot of memories over that big ole bridge and even more war stories. Two of acomin onto the island the most interesting stories occurred and an airplane just the first month I was based dropped out of the sky at the airport. and landed right on top FOG AND MISPLACED RUNWAYS of our camper, then I remember the drive to the airport bounced back into the early one weekday, and it was air and we assumed he so damn foggy you could barely went off into the water. see the push bar on the front of the We just wanted to Tahoe. I knew it was going to be a come see if ya’ll fished slow day around the office as we ‘em out of the drink were grounded due to IFR conditions. yet?” Consequently, there wouldn’t UHHH what? You say be the usual gathering of flight an airplane landed on school students in the lobby and or your camper? That on the ramp. must be a pretty big So, I thought it odd, that one camper. When did this lonely Cessna 152 was parked on happen? the ramp but assumed it had been “Well sir I suppose there all weekend. I thought this it’s been a couple two will be a good chance to catch up or three hours ago; we on a bunch of paperwork. I had no stopped at the Waffle more settled in my office when one House and got some pancakes sure. Did you get a look at this HUH. of the airport folks walked in and ‘cause we drove all the way from “airplane?” I walked over to the lounge and said “Sarge there’s a couple of old Little Rock and were a starving” Pa finally spoke up and said, as soon as I walked in the door country people out here in the lobby “Is your camper out front? “Yes sir we did. She was red and a young man stood up and said, looking for someone in charge.” I’d like to see that if you don’t white. Kind of small thing don’t “Am I under arrest officer?” Of course, old meant anyone over mind.” And sure enough, parked ya know.” “Son, what in God’s name are 30 to the college students that right out front was a big ole As soon as he said red and you doing here? And by chance manned the FBO counter. camper on the back of a very old white, I kind of had an idea did you hit something on the I met the two “oldsters” and Ford pickup. And right down the what was going on. “Are you way in? In the FOG?” I asked as to fall out of a Cessna while it’s Continued on Next Page 28 28 The The BLUES BLUES POLICE POLICE MAGAZINE 29 The The BLUES BLUES POLICE POLICE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE 29

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