I am a new member to the flying community, a community to which I am proud and privileged to now belong. Like any hobby or sport, those who belong, or share an interest become close, an unseen bond brings the individuals together as a like-minded group and the world of aviation that once seemed vast, for me, has become very much smaller, closer and familiar.
I learned today that one of the UK’s most talented and experienced Cessna Caravan pilots and his young passenger were killed in a horrific incident. At the time of writing this, the details are still unclear. All we know is that 16 parachutists jumped from the plane and then, moments later it crashed into boggy land 2 miles from the airfield.
Today, the aviation world, light aircraft enthusiasts, PPL students, pilots and parachutists world wide share in this catastrophe, made worse not because we have lost one of the UK’s most brilliant pilots, but because his passenger, the son of a regular jumper, who went up for the thrilling ride to experience part of his Dad’s, no, his hero’s hobby, lost his life at just 7 years of age.
This horrific accident serves as a stark reminder of just how dangerous flying can be and how precious every moment we have is. It brings to light just how close those who are members of the flying community, the flying family are and how we share in the loss, the agony and sadness that affects each and everyone of us on a level I never realised was possible.
Expressions of sympathy are simply not enough at this time, but they are all I can offer. My most sincere heartfelt thoughts are with those closest to those most deeply affected by this awful tragedy.