Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My gyro pilot friends

Circumstances forced me to retire from gyroplane flying when my husband passed away 11 years ago. My world had been torn apart by losing him. I couldn't stay on where we had been living for we had been there specifically for flight training. It was perfect for that but for a woman alone, not good at all. So right off I had to buy a piece of land and make a home for myself . Essentially, I had to make an all new life for myself. That took some time but eventially it was done.

During this time of reorganizing and putting my life back together I kept in touch with gyro pilot friends, Bobby Bettis and Teddy Udala. Bobby would greet me with a hug and hand me his helmet, point to his gyro and say," go fly my gyro, Marion". I was tempted but never took him up on his generous offer. Finally, one day I said to him, " when I fly again it will be in my own gyro". My gyro had been stored in the hangar and hadn't even had the engine run up in all that time.

Those two guys put their heads together and the next time I saw them Teddy announced that he and Bobby were going to go through my gyro and see that it was airworthy so I could fly again.

It wasn't long before they were joined by gyro pilots , Dave Bacon, Pete Prentice, and Ed Nielesky and they were busy taking the engine off my gyro so Ed could take it to his shop to go through it. Ed flew the McCulloch engine same as mine, for many years. He is the perfect one to check my engine out!

Next, the seat fuel tank was removed from my had died of old age for it had been on the gyro for nearly 30 years and was cracked around the bottom. I have purchased a new seat tank and as soon as Ed finishes with the Mac , as we call the McCulloch , the gyro will be put back together and that machine and I will fly again.

It was heartwarming to have these friends take on the job of helping me to get back into the air again. It is wonderful to have their gyro and I are in good hands.

Marion Springer