Saturday, November 19, 2016

I've been asked about the plane crash yesterday near our home, a few wondered if we feel safe, living where we are (next to the Half Moon Bay airport). Since I practically grew up at that airport (at least, often enough to feel like it), I have to say "yes". Our Aeronca L-3 was parked there, and we flew with our father (and a couple of his friends) throughout my growing-up years. Though my father was not a careful pilot (one could almost say "reckless"), we all managed to survive. He liked to fly close to the Devil's Slide cliffs, which was scary enough. Even when taxiing once, he lost control (something about the aileron), and the wing smashed into our VW bus (which we were sitting in). "Here comes DADDDD!" - CRUNCH!  

Half Moon Bay from the Aeronca, photo by my father, 1969

My father had a friend with a mechanical-starting Cessna (ours was a prop-starter), that he liked to cut the engine, when in flight, and drop a few hundred feet, calling it "lighter than air", scaring the heck out of us, before starting the engine back up ("Having fun, kids?"). When my mom found out, she wanted to kill the guy. Thankfully, my brothers are good pilots, and they learned a more responsible way to fly.

My brother Tom owns Table Mountain Aviation in Oroville, and is as careful as our father was reckless. The absolute MAJORITY of the time, those things stay up in the air. Though my father DID die in a private plane crash, in 2004....most aircraft stay up when they're supposed to.
My brother Tom Hagler, with his "Scout" airplane, at his business, Table Mountain Aviation.