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Coming to terms with the loss of two friends

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Coming to terms with the loss of two friends

Old 3rd Aug 2019, 00:06
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Dublin
Posts: 2
Coming to terms with the loss of two friends

Last month I lost two good friends in an accident. I am wondering if anyone else has had a difficult time dealing with this in private aviation.
Markha is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2019, 01:00
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 58
Posts: 4,132
That's sad Markha.

Yes, I have lost a number of friends in plane crashes, including two who I had to help lift out of the wrecks. I would rather do the difficult thing, and help to give my friend a final lift, than to think that I did not give them that last effort of caring.

Then it was my turn. My friends lifted me out of a crash, my family was called to the hospital to say goodby, and then I lived.

My advice is to get involved, and do something which is in the memory of your friends. Then remember that everyone else is still going to go flying again, so seeming to discourage it is unhelpful. If you're less keen on aviation, so be it, but there are many pilots who will consider the accident, then move on, and fly more.
Pilot DAR is online now  
Old 3rd Aug 2019, 08:54
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,588
I am sorry to say that in 30 years in aviation, whilst they may not all have been very close, I have lost rather more friends and colleagues than that as well as professionally having participating in the investigations into accidents to strangers.

I can't honestly say that I have ever got over any of those deaths. I am regularly reminded of them, and their lives and the loss caused by their deaths are always with me. Very much as DAR said, I have let the loss guide me in my aviation existence, both private and professional - it has often guided what I've done, in particular support to aviation safety research, and thinking hard about multiple aspects of my own flying.

You never get over it, nor should you try. Commemorate the loss by letting it help you become a better person, and a better aviator. You will not enjoy the journey, but I think it's the only way.

Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2019, 10:05
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 357
It might be something of a cliché but, only the passage of time will lessen the impact. I wish you well and offer my sympathy.
Capt Kremmen is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2019, 15:06
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 219
Good Markha - I empathize with your sense of loss. As other members here have pointed out with great sagacity, one never "gets over" these tragic deaths. Keep your friends in your heart and your thoughts - it is they who will comfort you the most. Remember the good times. Hoist a glass to their honor. Time will heal your pain but it will never erase your precious memories!

Mr. Magee wrote this when he was nineteen - the same year he was killed in an air accident:

High Flight
- John Gillespie Magee, Jr

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew --
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
cavuman1 is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2019, 17:50
  #6 (permalink)  
Gnome de PPRuNe
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Too close to Croydon for comfort
Age: 55
Posts: 5,625
I haven't lost anyone I knew closely in a flying accident but a group of us keenly miss a very good friend who died unexpectedly in sad circumstances this time last year. It's remarkable - and of great credit to him - that his friends never meet without some mention of him, usually starting "do you remember..." followed by laughter as the stories are retold. Gone but remembered with great warmth. You may not forget the circumstances but focus on the friendship and laughter and the sadness will be overcome by the good memories.
treadigraph is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2019, 19:11
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
Posts: 2,351
After being involved in aviation since ‘90 I’m currently at #8......friends, acquaintances....strangers you say hello to in the morning and in the afternoon they’re dead.
Former student of mine killed couple of months ago.
Took a bird to the face in his own airplane on final.
Whatever you want to call it, luck..karma...pilot actions...big man in the sky....we all go at some point.
Sad thing is I don’t even remember all of them, just know I’m at #8.
B2N2 is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2019, 19:47
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Belgium
Age: 60
Posts: 134
Joined the Air Force in 1975, and have been private flying since too.
Over the many years; Too many years, I lost friends in aviation, in car accidents, in bike accidents, in extremely complicated and in super simple stupid accidents. Remember and honor them in peace. Drive and fly safely and say "hello" to them from time to time.
Vilters is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2019, 01:00
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: CYYC (Calgary)
Posts: 4,799

It's very difficult. I lost two friends ten days ago in an accident that I witnessed. Much good advice above. I particularly like Pilot DAR's advice:
My advice is to get involved, and do something which is in the memory of your friends.
That's what I and my gliding club friends are going to do - carry on with our wonderful sport.
India Four Two is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2019, 23:15
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 58
Posts: 4,132
I think now of a friend, whose accident yesterday became known mid day today. He got his wife and kids out the plane as it sank, but he and the family dog did not make it out. He was one of the people who helped me two years ago. As I left to fly up to the airport this afternoon to assist or support, in any way I could, my wife said with angst: "This has been happening a lot lately..." I thought for a moment, and replied: "It's probably the same number of accidents, its just that we know so many more pilots than we used to". But, I worry she's more right than she knows, it's been a bad summer.....

My friend, like all of those friends who have gone before, was a kind and eager to help person, who raised a wonderful family, and employed a number of people in aviation. As I have while thinking of many other friends, I will think of him as I mentor with reinvigorated intent, hoping to prevent this type (or any type) of accident in those who follow my words. He will live on, in advice I give.....
Pilot DAR is online now  

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