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This Was A Surprise

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Hi All,

So, I get home from the job today. I'm kicked back in front of the TV watching the evening news with a cup of coffee and MSNBC is talking about the DC-3 that crashed in that Ft. Lauderdale neighborhood yesterday.

They're talking about what a miracle it was that the pilot of that old plane managed to put it down without wiping out the neighborhood. Then they're interviewing the pilot from his hospital bed and I'm looking at the guy on TV and I'm thinking, "Hey, wait a minute. I know that dude,...don't I? Hmmm, yep, I definitely know that dude, but dammit I can't remember from where."

Then they display the guy's name at the bottom of the screen. Oh sh*t, it's my second cousin, Charlie Riggs who I haven't seen since we went on a toot one night in 1971 in upstate New York!

It wasn't a fluke that nobody got hurt. This guy is a helluva pilot. He probably could have pancaked that thing onto a tennis court if he'd wanted to.

Charlie is a former Army warrant officer. Somewhere around 1969, he was flying a Chinook off a hot LZ loaded with troops and was about 20ft. off the ground when the rear rotor sustained a direct hit, separated from the shaft and cut the helicoper in half. Everyone except Charlie and one or two other guys died. That was the one that ended his Army flying career. He lost part of one foot, spent a couple of years in physical therapy and was walking with a brace the last time I'd seen him.

That crash in nam was the 3rd or 4th time he'd been shot down. The guy really lives some kind of charmed life.

Way to go Charlie!



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