Airpark residents are in mourning for our two neighbors. The freedom to fly in this country is still available for anyone willing to study and train to get an FAA license.
Smaller sport airplanes don’t always have radios, so they have to fly in open areas and airports without a control tower. No “permission” is necessary.
The aircraft this week was designed in the thirties by Bernie Pietenpol, and certainly not built out of cardboard and duct tape, but strong wood, metal and fabric. It is only listed as “experimental” because a factory was not originally involved.
Hundreds of Piets are flying now across the country. What caused this tragedy may never be known, whether a sudden storm-related downdraft hit them, an engine problem led to a landing attempt in the brush, or any situation two fine pilots could not overcome in time.
As a pilot for 60 years, I have had my near moments. But now I cry for these two widows who loved these men. Men who loved to fly.
Bette Bach Fineman