use the registration
My old friend Cal Moodie has been dead for years, so I can tell this.
He was a 1000 hour (at least) student pilot that I inherited from Bill Whaley. After considerable
prodding, I finally got him to do a rec permit flight test with Lorna DeBlicquy, that rare DPE that
would fly in an experimental. She's long dead, of course, and I was very fond of her. We got along
very well despite the fact that an ancestor of mine had an ancestor of hers killed. Sorry about that.
Back to Cal. He probably never graduated high school but he was one of the most talented people
I ever met. Loved to fly, but was a better builder. I think it was 1990 he told me if I was a pilot I had
to go to OSH, so off we went. I joined EAA at the gate. Life member now, a third of a century later.
Too many perfect airplanes to believe. Overload. I remember sitting, sunburned, dehyrated and my
feet hurting, watching Bobby Younkin do surface acro in a Beech 18 over the north/south runway.
I didn't know there were pilots that good.
Back to Cal. He built these gorgeous yellow cub replicas. Built one, I think reg ETV. Built another one
and a gorgeous set of straight floats. Cal was a pragmatic fellow, so he took some electrical tape
and put ETV on his second cub, too.
I had a cow. People think I'm sort of lawless yahoo but I've spent my life trying to keep the nutbars
around me on a leash, and all I've ever got for it, all my life, is shit on.
Cal explained to me that he could only fly one cub at a time, and he was always careful to bring
his one set of paperwork with him in whichever airplane he was flying at the time.
Anyways, one day Cal died. The day they buried him, it was dogshit wx. Low clouds, freezing
rain, but when one of your pilot friends is buried, you gotta put airplanes in the sky. Those are
the rules, and you have to live by them.
So I take off in one of my Pitts S-2B with Crazy Bobby Hanson in his Pitts S-2B on my wing. He
wanted to lead, but no way, buster. That's a whole different story. We head over to Perth to
the graveyard where they are burying Cal. Shit wx, but Bobby stays tight on my right wing. We
hold briefly over Otty Lake, and when old Norm on the ground with a handheld calls us in, I tell
Bobby to push the prop up all the way, and we enter a beautiful circle over Cal's body in his
open grave. I carefully kept our prop discs at max RPM aligned perfectly with the hole.
Apparently it was obnoxiously noisy on the ground. Nobody could hear a word the Preacher
said. My Dad was pleased. And so I'm sure, was my old friend Cal. I hope he smiled when
the sound of those two props at max RPM went into his coffin.