Saturday, September 28, 2013

You think the Middle East is rough? Ever been to East Texas?

Syria's largest stockpile in the world of chemical weapons will be destroyed after a UNANIMOUS vote by the UN Security Council - even RUSSIA and CHINA agreed (which NEVER happens). But hell, Americans can't be bothered with that - DUCK DYNASTY is ON!

So let's do the American thing and dive in to a bizarre story of kidnapping and intrigue. Add an aircraft failure. True story.

Another excerpt from "Better Times Ahead April Fool" in the chapter entitled "IS THIS THE MIDDLE EAST OR EAST TEXAS?"  lol. Actually, there are similarities. But we'll get into that later!

"You think the Middle East is rough? Ever been to East Texas? I had survived the ’80s and started a law practice. Things were going much better, but life still has surprises when you least expect it. You would expect trouble overseas, but not in your home state, right?

I had just completed being checked out a It was my first cross-country flight in 28 years, so how was I to know that the plane’s electric system would fail over a lake surrounded by pine trees?  Later that day, I would be kidnapped, and the electrical failure may have actually saved me…

            It was Friday, exactly one week before the 13th.  After I’d worked for two years on a difficult case in East Texas, it was finally time to collect payment, so this was to be the last trip.  Nacogdoches, the “oldest city in Texas,” does not have commercial air service to and from Houston.  I decided to treat myself to renting a private plane for the trip instead of making yet another of those grueling 5-hour round-trip drives that had worn out a set of tires. Since my brother was a pilot-in-training and was due to start a new job the next Monday, I invited him to go along at big brother’s expense. 

            We arrived at Sugar Land airport early and checked out the Cessna 182RG, few days before.  After passing, I told the instructor that it had been 28 years since I’d flown an airplane after getting a private license at 17 and a commercial license at 18 (I didn’t want to scare him).  After that I had a legal career spent flying the world as a passenger inside 747s.  It was the only flying I had done until deciding to renew my pilot’s wings.

            The plane checked out and I had the tanks topped off.  We borrowed a couple of headsets since I didn’t yet own any.  We took off into a clear but hazy day. I began to relax, getting used to the controls and enjoying the scenery. About an hour later, while flying at 150 miles per hour over the widest part of Lake Livingston, I noticed my brother fiddling with his headset. It didn’t seem to be working.  “Darn,” I thought, “that’s what I get for borrowing someone’s headset. It’s a dud.” 

            Then he pointed to the fuel gauges—both read “E”!   Empty? How could that be? But the engine was still running. Then I looked at the digital radio dial. It was blank.  Finally it dawned on me. Our electrical system had failed.  The engine was the only thing working! 

Thankfully it ran on magnetos separate from the electrical system.  But if both of them also failed we’d be coming down either in the lake or the pine trees. But I had no way to tell anyone we had an emergency. Things are happening very fast when you are flying...."


From "Is This the Middle East or East Texas?"

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