My sister messaged me that she was glad my son survived his plane crash. I was in instant panic mode, not having known about it. Immediate visions of him in a hospital and crippled for life. But I soon sorted things out, and miraculously he wasn't hurt. Seems she saw pics of it on his Facebook page but for some reason they didn't show up in my news-feed. Still working on that.
This is what happened. My son (Eric Faust) and another man own a plane together. They decided they wanted to get certified to fly at night, so went up to practice last night. They tossed a coin to see who should pilot first. My son lost the coin toss. He had some night experience, but the pilot had none. It was pitch dark and the pilot had no sense of how high they were or anything. Apparently, shortly after takeoff, a huge wind gust further disoriented the pilot, and he over-corrected. The pilot was thrown through the windshield as the plane continued tumbling with Eric inside. Then when the plane finally stopped tumbling, Eric was hanging upside down by his seat belt. In the pitch black of night, the pilot ran after the plane calling out to Eric, asking where he was, assuming he had been thrown out too. Meanwhile, Eric, having seen the pilot go through the windshield, feared he had gotten mangled by the propeller. (I believe the propeller actually broke away upon impact.) If they hadn't hit a ten-foot fence, causing the plane to flip and propel the motor away from them, Eric wouldn't have survived. The pilot got a few bumps and they both were scratched up, partly from walking through dense brush for nearly a mile on the moonless night.
Eric is a good pilot and has had several planes over the years. I used to fly with him, but haven't for 30 years or more. Just too much hassle, and then arriving somewhere and not having my luggage and vehicle. I don't like traveling anyway.
He says if he had been piloting he would have handled it differently and wouldn't have crashed. He doesn't live life as safely as a mother would wish for. When he was 19 he had a bad motorcycle crash. Other than a couple of broken bones and bad concussion, he survived fine. Then when he lived in Florida, while installing an air conditioner unit for a company he worked for, he fell two stories through a ceiling, landing with the unit on top of him. That was really bad and he still suffers from back injuries from that. Let's hope he has nine lives because he's used up six that I can recall. He said he won't get another plane, and he finally quit riding motorcycles, so we'll see.
Here's an old photo of him as an extra in the 2007 movie, "There Will Be Blood." Currently, he owns the Triangle west of Alpine. It's a gas station, convenience store, furniture store, and U-haul center.
Just so grateful he's OK.
Here's a photo of a Clouded Skipper I took today. Weather is slightly better than yesterday.