Friday, December 16, 2005

Bad Day at the Office

Here's a sad story that might help another pilot avoid the same fate.

While tree landings and broken bones can ruin a pilot's day, nothing may be as bad as losing your wing. Or in my case, wings. For nearly four years, at least until tonight, I've always had a couple of them with me--one for good conditions and another for bad conditions.

For the past couple of weeks since a doctor cut a tumor out of my shoulder I've been grounded, practically counting the hours until today when the stitches were removed and I would be cleared for flying. But starting my day at Straub, I learned I would be grounded for at least another two weeks--they had failed to get all the bad cells and needed to go in and try again.

I was still thinking about risk management--contemplating what steps I might take to get a flight in this weekend without further damage to my shoulder--when I pulled into the parking lot on Nuuanu and Nimitz across from Murphy's at about 8 p.m. to end my day with a quick meal with my bride, who was already saving a table.

When I returned to my vehicle about 45 minutes later, both of my wings were gone. Thieves had jimmied a front door, jammed the ignition to lower the power windows, pulled both backpacks from the back seat though vehicles on either side were parked very close, and vanished.

Gone were the black Cayenne (Skywalk), with only about 40 flights on it, and a brand new white Titan (Pro Design) with only one short flight on it. Along with helmets, harnesses and reserve parachutes.

I'm offering a $1,000 cash reward for recovery, but that's not why I'm posting this. HPD says it's not a good idea to carry anything resembling luggage--within view-- in any vehicle due to the escalating numbers of desperate bad guys who can carry off this kind of burglary in seconds.

If you get wind of someone trying to fence a glider, please call me or HPD asap. Unfortunately at this point, there are no suspects, except possibly the elderly lady living on Lanikai beach who Quentin pisses off with his landings.

1 comment:

Alex said...

by Alex on Dec 16, 2005 - 11:33 PM

Ken, I am so sorry to hear that. If someone tries to sell them on e-bay or something we'll probably be able to track them down that way. Let us know if you have serial numbers. But maybe the thieves will be stupid enough to actually try and jump off a cliff...

by gravity on Dec 17, 2005 - 07:29 AM

Oh God Ken, that sucks Airborne. I'll keep my ears and eyes open for any attempt to sell these wings.

I'll send Skywalk the info asap.

by Peter on Dec 27, 2005 - 09:08 PM

If I hear anything, when I get back, I will let you know.

I hope your shoulder feels better.