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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Someday, I'll touch the blue blue sky.

Yeah, I know.  It has been a while since my last post.  I didn't intend this to be a day by day, blow by blow, sort of account with my ALS experience.  I had a lot to say early on, because I had a lot of catching up to do.  It's not like nothing has been going on, just not tons.  I will had another post in addition to this one soon.  Like real soon.

To see my Dad's flight, click here.
After the skydiving adventure, many of you asked me, "What's next on the bucket list?"  On October 3rd, my Dad, Elden Taylor, my favorite human, Gerrí, and I drove up to Heber City.  For some time, my Pop has been interested in flying some World War II vintage airplanes that are maintained and flown by the Utah Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF).  The CAF has planes at different locations around the country, plus, a few of the more prominent members have restored their own aircraft which are also hangered in Heber.  My Dad flew in a PT17/N2S Stearman biplane, painted bright yellow, which is the style of the US Navy version of that plane.  In that same hanger they also have a Stearman painted silver, in the style of the Army Air Corps (US Air Force).  My Dad was in the Navy in WWII.  During and after the Vietnam years, I spent 10 years in the Utah Air National Guard / US Air Force.  Neither my Dad nor I were pilots.  In fact we were both assigned in electronics and radio communications.  Thankfully, I never got shot at during the Vietnam War, unless you count the local Biloxi boys shooting at us to scare us away from their girl friends. (True story - I'm not making that up - real bullets!)

But, I digress . . . . .

I expected to fly in the same yellow plane, but as Dad was landing, the pilot noticed that the fuel gauge, which hangs from the center of the top wing, was leaking fuel.  The pilot explained that the fuel gauges are tempermental on that particular aircraft and apologized that I would not be able to fly in it.  They offered to roll out the silver Stearman, which was fine with me, but, they were going to have to move two other aircraft out of the hanger to get to that other Stearman.  Well, one of those two aircraft that had to be moved was a North American T-6 Texan advanced WWII combat flight trainer.  I am very familiar with those babies, and also the T-28 trainer that came later.  In fact, when I was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, they were still training pilots in the T-28.  My barracks were located near the end of the flight line where the T-28s were taking off day and night (very noisy).

Click here to see video of my flight.
(Can't be seen from mobile devices.)
Anyway, I suggested that, if it was going to be too much trouble to move the two aircraft, I would be "satisfied" to fly in the T-6.  Actually when they said "yes" to that, I was really excited.  So as you can see from this photo, and the link, I had a really great flight in this classic aircraft.  I got to take the stick for about 10 minutes and put that plane into some nice steeply banked turns.  It was fantastic!

I can't really say that this was on my bucket list.  This was an item on my 87 year old Dad's bucket list.  But I was so happy to have this experience with my Dad. And I'm a very blessed man because Gerrí is, and has always been, 100% supportive of (most of) my antics.

Here is proof. She put up with this for several years.
If you want to see a video of this kind of flying,
rent the movie "Fly Away Home."

So now, people are asking me what's next on the bucket list.  I'm sure that I haven't thought of everything that I want to do, and Gerrí has a list of things that she would like to do.  Gerrí and I already have our plane tickets and condo reservation for Maui - we leave on January 19th, no matter what.

But, if I can stay healthy enough, next March I really hope to do this:


  1. You'll stay healthy enough!! I can't wait to see that video! Leslie

  2. Kevin and Gerri, that was so fun to watch. I'm glad you got to do that. Debbie

  3. Pop, I would LOVE to do this with you!!!!!



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