We are grateful to Tom Miller of KSBW for putting together this story about how we’re remembering my brother’s family by reopening the SCUBA shop. Click on the image to the left or here to go to their site and see the story. My dad says it’s one of the best stories he’s seen.
Extra Note: Tonight, my wife and I went through all the cards that everybody sent. It’s been hard, and that’s why it has taken a while for me to get to them. Thank you everybody that sent cards, donations to charities, food and flowers. The cards are touching, everybody’s comments, and believe it or not, the stock print on some of the cards spoke to me. All we really have is their memory and to be touched by the special things they did when they were here.
I also want to go through all the notes (comments) on this blog. There are nearly 350. A lot of them came in the first few weeks and I was pretty numb when they first came through, so they didn’t register. I am so happy to have them and be able to look back on them. Everybody has been so special and supportive through this whole process. I really appreciate everything everybody has done and written.
I’ve been recovering the family’s photos and while I have a lot, I feel like I don’t have most of them. It’s fun to see their photos from Africa, Washington D.C., Thailand, and all over the world. They really did live a lot when they were here. I still have recent videos that need to be edited from Bonaire and a family day trip to Death Valley.
I got some more insight on the crash from one of David’s friends. I probably don’t want to go into it too much, but it’s starting to make more sense what happened and how. We’ll wait for the NTSB report for the final determination and I’m not sure what I’ll be saying about it when that happens.
I do have one request of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator (which David had loaded on his computer). The simulator has a Mooney program (same as my brother’s airplane) which is realistic in every respect, but it’s my understanding that it does not properly simulate stalls or the spins that can happen after a stall (as happened with my brother). I would request that this be added. Other flight simulators and even radio control flight simulators have a realistic and physically accurate simulations of stalls and spins (and how deadly they can be). Here are excerpts from Amazon reviews of Microsoft Flight Simulator:
Stalls are too easy to recover unlike real aircraft…
The things this simulator lets you get away with (Yes, on Full Realism) would kill you several times per day in a real aircraft…
I don’t fault Microsoft, because I know it takes more effort and expense to add such features and it would be a reasonable business decision to decide not to, but it’s a request. (If somebody could let me know if I’m incorrect here about what the simulator does, I’m happy to update this post).
Some pilots spend a lot of time practicing stalls and recovering from stalls. In talking to the people who saw him fly, my brother was meticulous in his safety preparations, even to the point of driving his co-pilots crazy, but somehow he seemed to be inadequately trained in the dangers of stalling. We’ve seen this before, even in commercial aviation. The crash of Colgan Air Bombardier Q400 on approach to Buffalo, N.Y. (2009) killing 50 was caused by a stall. Air France Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, killing 216, was also caused by a high speed stall. In the face of danger, the pilot instinctively pulled back on the stick to gain altitude, when they could have avoided the catastrophe if they had not pulled back and maintained airspeed.
Anyway, I’ll always treasure the moments and memories that David, DeDe, Luke and Ryan brought to me. I can still see their happy faces and loving smiles…