Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Don't let facts get in the way of a good story

I guess this column in the Austin American-Statesmen about the death of an RV-7A pilot is supposed to be a testament to the willingness of a wife to let her husband go fly those danged experimental airplanes. But, geez, it's based on an ignorant premise -- that a plane crashed because it was homebuilt and experimental.  The laws of physics could give  a damn.

I don't know how my life will end. But I know how it won't. I've vowed that my obituary will not include the phrase "experimental airplane" or "home-built airplane."

I had that in mind yesterday when I spoke with the widow of a man whose did.
"Charles William Miller, 66, died tragically when his experimental, home-built, private airplane crashed August 19 in El Dorado, Arkansas," said the recent obit for the Georgetown resident.

What kind of man goes up in an airplane he built himself? What kind of wife allows that? Chuck Miller was that kind of man. Suzy Miller was that kind of wife. And they combined for a 43-year marriage marked by triumphs and tragedies, as well as adventures sparked by the greatest of those tragedies.

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