Saturday, 28 April 2012
Dad's Plane Crash (in the 1970s)
This happened years ago, but I still remember lying in bed when I was supposed to be asleep and could hear my grandmother arrive in tears at the house so she could be there when news arrived about them both. My parents and grandmother often took part air rallys. I always stayed at home with my siblings, but I remember being taken to see all the small planes at the airport.
The crash didn't happen during an air rally though. On this occasion, dad and his friend were taking two other pilots to collect a new plane in Dinard and it was on the way back, with the other plane some way behind them that they crashed. The other pilots circled the area for as long as possible before returning to the nearest airport. I gather that dad and his friend drifted quite a way - the currents are very strong in the channel - but they were rescued and weren't badly injured. When they arrived in France they were offered brandies to perk them up and amused their French hosts by declining the brandies and asking for cups of tea instead.
Each year on 21st May, the anniversary of the crash, I send my dad a card and I'm incredibly grateful that he lived to tell us all about it. Strangely enough, he's not at all scared of flying.