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Randy Sohn
Gradn Exlated Ordre of teh Fyling Fingres


Reged: 08/31/01
Posts: 23187
Loc: Savage, MN - U.S.A.
From a former F/O who's sadly missing by-gone days
      #152905 - 04/29/07 07:36 PM

This was on my incoming E-mail just now, an author and comapanion neer-do-well, I've redacted some names <g>:

"Howdy, Capt. Chum (sir)

It's one of those perfect days for me. Nice and hot, nearly a hundred with a mild breeze from no where. I was making a salad. It's been too cold to eat salads for a long time. Send some of that global warming to Arizona.

I was slicing radishes. I'm sure you know that slicing radishes takes some time which gives a man an opportunity to think. That's important. Similar to the days I spent at the RKS airport as a young boy just before I could reach the rudder pedals. Hours and hours in the big hangar just chocked full of really cool airplanes. Stagger Wing Beech, C-195, and a bunch of birds. I got in touch with the hangar... how the winds moved it's giant doors around, how it heated and cooled and how the birds swooped and soared before the excitement of the Frontier DC-3's one engine stop that beat the Circus all to hell. Lots of time to think. How one day I would be an airline pilot.

Back to the radishes, I began to contemplate again another book. I've been thinking of it for some time.

I don't do anything for money. I would write this just to share with other like minded folks, if there are any, some of the adventures I was privileged to be involved with during my flying career. That's the long and the short of it. Writing and publishing a book is a huge pain in the ass. I'm not sure I want to go through that again, and yet I possess some priceless memories that ought not to go out with me.

It's quiet in here... I have all of the doors open to the breeze. The visiting kids at the pool just outside my balcony have swum themselves into a nap. There are those who object to the shrieking of kids at a pool, but I am not one of them. They may overmodulate my timpanium on occasion, but that' s OK. It really is OK and the wind is 0307. The only sound is a small fan, and the occasional flight being cleared to land at PHX. They're using the 8's today.

There hasn't been an arrival for nearly an hour.

So, I've finished slicing the aforementioned radish's and have moved on to celery. Organic. Tell me, how is any vegetable not organic? I guess I'm too curious.

As I sliced away, I was thinking to myself that I believe I did appreciate what I had while flying for the assorted airlines, especially North Central. I enjoyed those hot days when the cockpit was like an oven. I was fortunate enough to have been based in LAS & PHX for a few as in three years. I mean it was great! I think in some ways it was even better than the 727 flying out of Guam. And me in the right seat in a DC-9. Yeah, it was something I thank the Chief Pilot in the Sky for frequently.

Left seat in the DC-9 was great too... but different from those days in the desert that I love.

So, having nearly severed my thumb for not paying attention while I'm slicing these expensive vegetables , I'm thinking to myself "is it fair to tell the stores?" You can't tell the flying stories without including the men we flew with who, at the time, were severe irritants or just plain assholes.

There were others like you, amigo... but a story of guys who get along defies the nature of writing which is conflict! I would, however, include my efforts of coaxing the Texas Chili Recipe from you for two or so months. Oh... and then there's the:

ME: "Flaps Two" (220 knots into LAS)

YOU: Yeah, but do you have a REASON?"

ME: (To myself) "Well, yeah... we're going to land... (however, placed knowledge in bank and did not call for flaps 2 until minimum clean speed. Worked GREAT)

OR

Xxx Xxxxs: 350 knots over LAS LOM: "Flaps Two"

ME: (Noting maximum speed for flaps two of 245 knots) "Flaps two now?"

Xxxxs: "Well, I never heard of flaps two later!

We didn't crash, he got his flaps two, but I learned a valuable lesson. Even if the guy's No. 1 on the list, he does not get flaps two at 350 knots.

Ahhhh... those memories.

How I would enjoy sitting down with Xxx for a cold one, but it's too late. We did have a couple as in two beers on long Las Vegas Layover when he let down his shoe polished hair for once and told some stories that I'll never forget. And Ray Simons. In some ways completely insane, but in others one of the wisest men I have ever known.

I love those airplanes Randy... you know what I mean. Not everyone does. But it is the men who I flew with, or those who flew with me that make the stories. Many of them have flown West, and are not here to defend themselves. It would not be my intention to defame their character, except perhaps for Xx Xxxxxxxn the sociopath. But how can I tell the tales without revealing some semi-insanity on the flight deck's of life?

Anyonimity.

Is nothing to worry about now as the airplanes are all flown by keyboard inputs. How do you input a crazy keyboard entry?

Or, should the adventures we had simply be allowed to die along with the men who experienced them.

I don't think so. I am extremely proud to have been associated with a group of airmen of rich character whose stories need to be told even if they don't all conform to the FAR's.

I sure do miss Ernie. My mentor, my conscience and my inspiration.

I also regret not having flown with you more. Back then I bid my trips around the love of my life who has come and gone. I'm OK with that, sort of. All the money I spent on that woman would have easily paid for a DC-6B. And I'd still have it.

Well, maybe I would.

Guess I had better eat that ensalada.

Maybe later.

Xxxg


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Bruce Gorrell [EQY]
Top Gun


Reged: 04/29/04
Posts: 7864
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Re: From a former F/O who's sadly missing by-gone [Re: Randy Sohn]
      #152916 - 04/29/07 08:58 PM

Great letter. I wish I could state it that well.

Encourage him to write the book and just make up names. Whoever flew with them will know who it was, and whoever didn't will enjoy the stories.

Edited by Bruce Gorrell (CLT) (04/29/07 08:58 PM)


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Randy Sohn
Gradn Exlated Ordre of teh Fyling Fingres


Reged: 08/31/01
Posts: 23187
Loc: Savage, MN - U.S.A.
Re: From a former F/O who's sadly missing by-gone [Re: Bruce Gorrell [EQY]]
      #152921 - 04/29/07 09:13 PM

B - re>>Encourage him to write the book and just make up names. Whoever flew with them will know who it was, and whoever didn't will enjoy the stories<<

Oh yeah, we all knew who they were <g>. Like I'd said, you can learn something from anyone or on any jumpseat - just that some's good and some's like "Wow (silently), I'd NEVER try THAT!" Trig wrote his latest one "The Bad Guys Are Winning" but don't know how that's going.

Ernie told me once while I was checking him out in the B-17, "If you wanna say something good about someone, use his name. If not, then use a pseudonym". Then he said "Wish I would'a done that in F.I.T.H, I seriously thought that that one guy that I'd talked about in there was dead, now I'm told that he's not". "G-e-e-z!"

best, randy


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Bill Bridges - 9S1
Top Gun


Reged: 05/17/04
Posts: 6008
Loc: 9S1
Re: From a former F/O who's sadly missing by-gone [Re: Randy Sohn]
      #153125 - 04/30/07 09:48 PM

Randy,

Thanks again for sharing your friends and stories with us.

Bill


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Richard Duxbury (Dux)
Top Gun


Reged: 05/15/04
Posts: 5468
Loc: Minneapolis/Tucson
Re: From a former F/O who's sadly missing by-gone [Re: Randy Sohn]
      #153295 - 05/01/07 08:01 PM

Ya, flaps at too high an airspeed. I remember as a junior 1/O telling the Captain that we were too fast. OK, I was off probation! It was a 727 and I was not so worried about the trailing flaps as what might happen to those leading edge stuff at too high an air speed. (Hello Hoot?).

I (sorta) lost a bet two weeks ago at the Pima museum. I stated that the DC-4 did not have prop reverse -and the experience tour guide said that was mostly correct, but the later versions did have reverse. I stated that that later version was the DC-6, but he insisted it was a DC-4. Oh well, never flew either aircraft except as a passenger in the USNR or on Northwest.

Looking forward to a return to the BP group, might even buy you some beef soup -or even a real pizza.

Regards,

Dux


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Randy Sohn
Gradn Exlated Ordre of teh Fyling Fingres


Reged: 08/31/01
Posts: 23187
Loc: Savage, MN - U.S.A.
Re: From a former F/O who's sadly missing by-gone [Re: Richard Duxbury (Dux)]
      #153322 - 05/01/07 10:38 PM

Dux - re>>Ya, flaps at too high an airspeed. I remember<<

Yup, a million stories floating around out there about him/them <g>. And yeah, like Bruce sez, we all knew who they were/are. Started to tell one this morning at the retired Duck's breakfast, didn't even get the first two syllables out before someeone named the guy I was gonna tell the story about. Getting about like giving each joke's punchline a number!

Anways, this joke involved that guy insisting he was below 250 knots below 10,000', the controller told him that he couldn't seem hear him because of that continuing airspeed clacker noise in the background everytime the mic was keyed!

>>(Hello Hoot?)<<

We well may never know I guess (hello Boeing!) Anyways this morning some reminiscing about "Sin Row" east if Midway when Hoot was a roomate of one of our NOR guys.

>>I (sorta) lost a bet two weeks ago at the Pima museum. I stated that the DC-4 did not have prop reverse -and the experience tour guide said that was mostly correct, but the later versions did have reverse<<

Only one, an experimental. Yesterday Rick Broome and I got into it, he thought their DC-6s had main gear speed brakes, I said only the DC-7s.

<<never flew either aircraft except as a passenger in the USNR<<

Good on'ya that you weren't along with Dave to the Aleutians.

best, randy


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John O'Shaughnessy [FCM]
Top Gun


Reged: 09/13/01
Posts: 5059
Loc: Minnesota
Re: From a former F/O who's sadly missing by-gone [Re: Randy Sohn]
      #153607 - 05/03/07 11:46 PM

great story teller.

Once again I'll miss BP's this weekend, but hopefully next weekend I'll be there again!


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