A flight instructor with the Army Air Corp. during World War II, my dad flew for more than 50 years without an accident. He attributed his success to experience, knowledge of aircraft and, most important, good old common sense.
Repeatedly, he commented on the safety measures taken before each flight. Adequate air in tires, checking for any water condensation in fuel line and putting the engine at full throttle before take off were some of the things he did that I remember.
My first flight with him was at three weeks of age on my mother’s lap. I never missed a chance to fly with him in our family Cessna 170, call name 2889 Charlie.
Over the years, my dad expressed concerns about commercial airline aircraft, in general. A major concern was age of the fleet. Most are 20 years or more old. Aircraft fatigue is created over time due to compression and decompression in each flight, resulting in hairline fractures.
Another concern was the lack of proper time in de-icing aircraft sufficiently. There is so little time between flight schedules.
My dad’s love of flying in his small Cessna outlived his lifetime. He never lived to be on an honor flight, but his memory lives on each time I look up at the skies.