Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Gippsland duty

Fletcher FU24
This memory! if in a movie would more than likely be laughed at?
But not for me, it happened about a year after the (Hanger incident) a friend under my supervision was killed (Which is another story) and in keeping with his families wishes, his ashes were to be spread across his small farm, he loved so much.
This duty fell to me, so there I was approaching his place at 1000 feet in the Fletcher, I had previously loosened the small casket lid, it had been modified and a Handel had been attached for today's ceremony, there was also to be some sort of religious ceremony at his house at the same time. 
There was a slight turbulence coming off the hills, so I slowed down a bit to reduce its effects on the my flight, the Fletcher wasn't the smoothest of flying aeroplanes!
I opened the casket and placed it on the seat beside me, as I approached the release point, I threw open the cockpit, the nose pitched down? only slightly and the casket got airborne for a second and the ash went every-where!   the cockpit was full of it blowing about,  I also was covered! it was blowing all over the place. It was a nightmare!
Anyway I grabbed the casket, it was empty! but I still held it over the side until I crossed the far boundary, just in case I was being observed? I flew back to base with the cockpit open and the wind turbulence cleaned most of the ashes from the cockpit.
Back at base I brushed out the cockpit floor and threw what was left of the ash up into the wind.
Later when asked "how it went"? I said, to my shame! " No Worries"  
This is the only time I have admitted to this incident in 40years
Its not so easy to live with shame and lie to protect ones self.


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