A grander adventure
February 11, 2010 2 Comments
Last night my hubby went to his monthly EAA chapter meeting.
The speaker, I’ll call him “The Man of the Hour” or MH, was scheduled to tell his story about getting his DC3 pilot classification. This was a long term goal for MH, required lots of planning and money. MH arrived in Florida from Oregon at 9pm and met his instructors, who were full of apologies.
They couldn’t grant MH the two weeks of training. They were loading up a DC4 because the Haiti earthquake had just happened. But if MH was willing – he could get his flying time with them. He could go to his hotel, get a few hours of sleep, and join them when they deployed at 1am. Which MH did. Within an hour in the air, MH was flying as pilot-in-command, while the two exhausted instructors caught some rest.
For those two weeks, MH from Troutdale, Oregon, barely slept more than 3 hours a day. Back and forth to Haiti. Load the plane in Florida, unload in Haiti. The damaged airport overflowed with airplanes and crews doing the same thing – flying flags from every country around the world.
MH helped teams unearth survivors, and moved on when victims were unreachable, to help those in need. The devastation, MH states, was far greater than shown on the news. The crews spoke every language, and communicated through compassion and a few hand signals. Locals lined the fences of the airport, blank faces, babies in arms, small sacks of their life within reach, hoping to leave.
After his 2 weeks, MH returned to Oregon with his DC4 classification, instead of his DC3, and the request to return because his help would be appreciated.
The presentation scheduled for last night, was a failure. MH did not get his DC3 ticket. The pictures and adventure MH presented for a few dozen pilots was not expected. It connected everyone in the room to a global community, overflowing with compassion, because of a dream that failed, and the actions of one man in the moment.
MH did not go to Florida to fly disaster relief missions to Haiti. But he was there at the moment when someone asked, can you help? And he said yes.