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Tales of An Old Aviator .... The Big Chill

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Tales of An Old Aviator .... The Big Chill

Old 18th Sep 2004, 01:42
  #201 (permalink)  
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Duke in summer flying kit with Invader

Old 28th Sep 2004, 18:46
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Fighting the good fight.......

(I tried to mail this in 'private' mode, but the ILS for the mail seems to be goosed - so to all who read, you have my most sincere promise that it is not my intention to 'insult', by mentioning in this mail, what i believe.)

Hey Duke,

It's just a quickie from your 29 yr old, 20hr Cessna flying Brit Vicar! - Well, not really a Vicar actually.
I hope you don't mind, i've been working far too many hours on security trying to make things happen financially, and so have had to face hours of boredom, and i printed-off all your tales of, as you say, 'Daring Do' to keep me busy - and by the heck they do!
Just to put you at ease, you have my promise that i will not in any way publish or spread these stories, i will discard once read if you would prefer..
Anyhow, cutting to the chase, one of your stories was about an Aztec which went down nr Papua - seven lost, you heard the screams on the HF whilst in the C182, do you recall...?

Well, it's my vision to become an MAF Pilot someday, and so i read as much as poss about other Christians who have been used by God in Aviation. About 4 yrs ago, I was reading a book called 'In To The Glory' by Jamie Buckingham, it's quite old (1950/60s) - i found it in a dusty old basement library, in a Christian Mansion, here in England. This book has a special meaning to me, and should you be not put off with a bit of 'God Talk', i'd be happy to share with you - it's a really wierd story, in a nice way.

Anyhow, the book accounts what i believe is the same occurance you reference in your story.. A Christian mechanic got called away to assist a collegue whilst servicing the Aztec engine (Number 2 engine if my memory serves me right), and had only finger-tightened the fuel line; he had found the cowling back on when he returned and for some reason had pressumed the fuel line nut had been tightened.
The book states that the pilot worked wonders to lose about 6'000ft in less than 2mins, had lined up for a dissused airfield, but on finals the main spar went, and they cartwheeled in. The aircraft was operating as part of JAARS at the time, the 'Jungle Aviation and Radio Service' - the air arm of the Wycliffe Bible translators - they're still around today - sorry, don't mean to make you feel old..

It was just so weird to be reading your account of this occurance, written by yourself, a Pilot who was in the air at the same time, all those years ago. If you get the chance, try and get the book - It's a corker - full of interesting accounts and stories which i know, after reading your stories, you would love.
Obviously, i stand in awe at your experience - both in aviation and life. My thoughts are with you as you persevere in your battle against cancer. You have no doubt, over the years and through life experiences, formed your own personal beliefs in respect of God etc etc... With the multitudes from all nationalities you have encountered in your life, one would expect a diverse appreciation of many religeons, belief systems and the like - especaily boxes of flipping Lobsters!! :-)

But Duke, i wanted again to bring back to you the very simple, very powerful account of the only 'man' who ever lived and died, simply, and only for the sake of all of us. The cross is known throughout the world, it's message is undeniable - the recent film 'The Passion of Christ' is a good (and historicaly accurate) visualisation of what God, in the body of a human, decided to put himself through, so the price would be paid for us. This, so that when our time comes to meet God, we have our issues paid for by Christ on the cross, because we asked for him, and accepted his sacrifice as payment for our shortcomings.
Yes, yes, i know you've heard it all before, but would this change it from being all true, if infact the story and promises of Christ was indeed all true?

You see, i'm no DC3 Pilot, infact at the moment, I'm no pilot at all, but i have completed many Christian and Non- Christian courses on both the Bible, Biblical Archeology and World Religeons, as well as having many many friends from different faiths.
Duke, your present situation really concerns me, i told you this the last time i mailed you, that i do not know how i would fair going through what your going through...
But, to put it into flying terms, imagine you were flying that C182 again, and the weather came in on you over Papua, if offered the choice, would you take option A or B?

A: Turn into a heavily clouded valley where you have been 'told' there are a couple of safe landing strips - but non of which you have seen, nor have you been able find much clear literature to read about for yourself, neither have you met anybody who ever survived after landing at one of these strips. There is no clear written details of the approaches, it's all very vague - some think that the strips are nice, some think that one or two of these strips have a nasty F27 commander waiting to speak to you about some certain 'un-cleared' flights you have undertaken in your life, and would want to ground you! Some say you have to work hard to get into some of the strips, but you may have to take off again if you didn't do well enough first time round.
Non of them provide a 'promise' of safety once you have committed to land there, and nobody is quite sure what awaits after you shut down, although many seem 'convinced' by their own opinions.


B: Turn into another valley, where there is not as much confusing 'cloud' - things are definately a little clearer in this valley. There is a landing strip in this valley which loads of other pilots know of; you have read about the approach, because there is lots of literature, maps and guidance on how to get in. The strip also has a glide slope, dedicated Air Traffic Control who are there purely to help endagered aviators such as yourself to get down safetly.
You know LOTS of people who know of a guy who landed there once, came out the other side, and said it was wonderfull beyond description AND said that waiting for you is the best banquet you ever dreamed of and a family of people, led by the strip Controller, who are there simply to love and welcome you home, and celebrate with you, your safe arrival. The only thing is, you have to follow the Controllers directions on how to get in, even if his directions seem to contradict your better judgement at times - He knows his airstrip better than you do.

I wonder, which option would you go for?
Duke, i am not yet a pilot, i will read your stories of aviation - they teach me a great deal. But Duke, i am a theology graduate, and what i have just written above is the difference between the promise of Christ through the Bible, and all other world religions and faith systems - like you would say to a nervous first officer Duke, i am saying to you...'Trust me, it's TRUE'.
I hope i have given you some scope for thought.
My very best, and as ever, my prayers.
You know, as a final little point, most think that the likes of 'St Paul, and 'St John' etc.. from the Bible, where born singing hymns!!

Duke, you come across as a very experienced and colourful guy - did you know that in the Bible, Jesus gave 'St James' and 'St John' a nickname? -Yes, he called them 'Boanerges' which means 'Sons Of Thunder'!!
...when you go back to the original Greek writing of the text, It was literally a nickname, because when you get past all the 'religiosity' and 'holy-clap trap' rubbish which the major established Christian church around the world places on both the Bible and Biblical charachters, these charachters ALL had some VERY 'interesting' sides to their personalities - James and John where in their times the equivalent to our present day deep-sea fishermen - not the most tactful of people! - and JESUS PERSONALY CHOSE THEM!!!!!

God has very a distinct like of 'colourful' charachters you know Duke - i type this smiling... :-)
I pray you will find some joy and meaning in amongst the great suffering you are enduring, - like the joy you (and I) received from the bagpipes being played by the child at the air show, a couple of mails ago, -Amazing Grace i seem to recall..... please try to remember and consider the words to that Hymn.
A friend who truly cares

Last edited by seagull2200; 29th Sep 2004 at 11:51.
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Old 28th Sep 2004, 23:49
  #203 (permalink)  
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I thought the aircraft was a turbo baron.
where ya at Duke?. how are ya battling with the demon?.
we all miss ya mate.
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Old 29th Sep 2004, 07:14
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'Twas actually a turbo-charged Aztec.................read Duke's earlier post about agreeing to buy it.
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Old 29th Sep 2004, 14:30
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I stand corrected. to many brain cells have sucumbed to the devil drink.
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Old 30th Sep 2004, 20:49
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Yes a turbo Aztruck,he nearly made it into Nadzab.
The turbo Baron had its wing blown off in Talair Goroka hangar after faulty wiring ignited fuel. The ginger-beer(kiwi Doug "Duck"?) laying under it at the time required surgery to unpucker his freckle.

Old 2nd Oct 2004, 19:14
  #207 (permalink)  

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Wink Tourism Chilliwack

Hiya Duke "howzit?" as my S African colleagues say - no word from you so hope things aren't too grim or nauseating ... I just posted a new thread in JetBlast about the possiblity of blue moons over N America as a result of the Mt St Helens burp .. have to say I think it would be fun to see a blue moon! Also .. having heard about a place called Chilliwack through your writings (I probably would never have heard of it otherwise) I went to the local tourism website and today in the mail received a brochure - must say it looks a totally charming area (but then it IS a tourist brochure) hehehe

OKies hope if you don't get to read PPRuNe someone passes on my chitchat to ya!

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Old 15th Oct 2004, 08:56
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Just received a message from PIGBOAT with some great news. Check out this Canadian Aviation Forum

Duke's Post
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Old 16th Oct 2004, 01:06
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Unfortunately the Aviation Canada forum appears to have closed up shop.
Old 16th Oct 2004, 08:17
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Are you sure? This link, http://www.avcanada.ca/forums2/viewforum.php?f=28 , still seems to work.
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Old 16th Oct 2004, 19:56
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I think you are looking for

Duke Elegant
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Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 1:22 pm Post subject:

Hi everyone ....Iam hangin' in and as soon as I am back up a few pounds , I'll write ... I promise.
For me , VNE is not a limitation , it's a goal
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Old 20th Nov 2004, 21:28
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This was posted ove at flightinfo.com

To Duke Elegant.


I've read your stories and I envision a gray haired man with a weathered face, each crease having a tale to tell, sitting by a fire with a whiskey in hand. It's been said that "no one here gets out alive". True it is but not all have touched the lives as you have, sir.
I can't shake your hand, so I will just say thank you.
By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth. G Carlin

Here is what I said.

Close , Daveman , close.

I\'m trying to get comfy as we speak.

I now have a hospital bed in my living room , in front of the TV and close by the fire place.

I am on a memory foam pad (developed by NASA I believe) because I am down to 108 pounds now and have become rather skeletal. I also have an oxygen machine that goes 24/7 but I only use it half the time.
My darling beautiful wife has learned to operate the intraveinous machine for my daily saline .

The morphine right now manages the pain but it tries to fu#k with my mind so I had better write something before I start talkin garbage.

I am hoping to have a friend type for me when I get set up with a laptop for the bed so ..........I am not done yet.

I have some spiritual stuff to share.
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Old 22nd Nov 2004, 01:10
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Thanks for the sitrep.

There's been lots of us waiting and wondering how you are doing. What can we say, keep giving it your best shot mate and hang in there. We haven't forgotten you.

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Old 26th Nov 2004, 10:39
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Glad you are home with your family. Keep up the fight and keep posting, there are a lot of people waiting to hear from you on this forum as well as others.
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Old 29th Nov 2004, 18:35
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I'll tell you why I am one of the luckiest guys on earth.

I am now down to a skeletal 105 pounds now and I am on an oxygen tube most of the time..

And my wife STILL offers to cuddle up to me in bed .... even though it hurts my bones , it warms my heart.
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Old 29th Nov 2004, 18:37
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Your spirits are high and you have someone who loves you. Enjoy.

Good luck to you.

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Old 30th Nov 2004, 04:43
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She loves you Duke, against aaaalllllll the odds, she loves ya
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 16:48
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Hang on in there mate.

My thoughts are with you.

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Old 30th Nov 2004, 20:07
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Duke, as a recently-joined member of the Big 'C' club, I can testify to the support of the ones you love being a source of strength. Hang in there, my friend - my thoughts are with you daily...

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Old 2nd Dec 2004, 08:19
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Duke mate I came across this web page the other day.
Please enjoy it Im sure it will jolt you back 30 odd years to our time in Madang as it did me with lots of lads and lassies you will no doubt remember.
You will live forever mate and remember when it came to flying , boozing , bullshittin' or lovin' nobody could hold a candle to us guys back then .
I reckon God gonna give us good guys a Cessna 185 and a DC3 to zoom around the valleys and clouds all day.

TPNG 69-73
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