Originally published October 17th, 2007.
Only Lex could combine the subjects of Cessna 172 familiarization and panning in photography….and make it interesting!
I guess I should have briefed him more carefully on the ground, but stalls demonstrations and recoveries are a routine bit of familiarization for almost any airplane. People who haven’t flown before are often surprised to hear that, associating the word “stall” very frequently with “crash”, “burn”, and “memorial service”. We just do them at a safe altitude when we’re learning to fly airplanes, while those who are learning how to crash them do not.
I always hated demonstrating stalls because one morning during my flying lessons the instructor wanted me to demonstrate a departure stall.
So we are about 3,000 feet and he keeps telling me to pull up on the stick while the stall horn is blaring.
Well, one wing drops so fast you didn’t have time to react and before you can say , well, the last 2 words the NTSB usually hears on the black box, we are in a spin.
After about 3 rotations I say as calmly as I can in my faux pilot-has-everying-under-control voice I think you’d better take the controls”
Don’t know to this day whether what he did was good or bad – pilots have been killed doing the same maneuver when they are in the traffic pattern – but another instructor patiently showed me that using proper rudder coordination will prevent that from happening. Showed me what happens when you are not flying coordinated.
On panning it seems Lex had a good knowledge of photography! I get the feeling that whatever caught his interest, he dove in.
Not a bad way to go through this world.
So true, sadly…every time I re-read a post of his I do so with a mix of enjoyment and supreme sadness remembering what once was–almost makes me want to not read any at all…too damn painful..
virgil – I know that for me – coming here after his passing – some of my comments – seeing his writing for the first time – probably rubs salt on the wound. But then I wonder would he like us to keep reading them and talk about them – or not?
That’s a question everyone has to answer for themselves…
When I read so much of his writing he is still speaking to me. His advice – to put demon doubt into a compartment and view it at a later time is timeless advice. Having come to “know” him, I have come to admire his approach to life – he didn’t stick his foot in the water to test it – just dove in! But he dove in with some preparation and knowledge of what he was to do.
What is more admirable – to timidly go through life afraid to do things or jump in?
I have gotten little snippets of his character from a lot of places – one, in a note from Kat, saying that he needed some help getting up from an exercise – getting himself into shape for the next adventure.
I figure one of these days – sooner or later – for none of us can know when the sand will finally run out – I’ll be having Guinness with him and sharing some laughs.
I’m with you there VX. Sometimes I go to “Neptunus Lex” and rumble through the archives. There’s always a great deal of melancholy in reading his words, knowing that there will be no more in this life. But, all that being said, the man was a superb writer and an even better human being. Sure, we miss him, but as long as his words can entertain, educate and inspire us, a little bit of Lex will live on, inside of us all.
Virgil – I hear you. It is beautiful that we still have his words – thanx to his incredibly generous and compassionate family – and yet sometimes when I read them I am struck anew at the depth of our loss.
Still, we have his voice. And it is a timeless one…as I re-read TDL and explore on my own I am constantly reminded of the astuteness of his observations – casual, serious or Ambien-as-hooker. He really “got it” in every way. I miss him very much and am glad of his blog.
Bill – by the time we all get there, it’s gonna be one helluva Guinness party.
Oh and that story – I believe it’s something Kat told after Lex’s burial (possibly related to us by FbL???) – something about him having fallen over like a tipped cow while trying to do yoga or somesuch thing. She clearly has her father’s wit.
Amen to all of the above. He is SO missed.
But I think we made it clear by our comments of off line communications over the years that even his mundane posts were truly enjoyed and appreciated by his readers when new. Our irrevocable sadness now is that while we can reread and re-enjoy them, there will never be a new one again.
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