I was watching TV...last night...

 ...and came across Airplane Repo on the Discovery Channel.  So I watched a partial episode.

This guy/guys/people were after the high-end (meaning mega $$$$) airplane/jet stuff.  I watch a partial episode of a pilot climbing over a 10' tall fence, in the dark, with a gun, trying not to get caught.

Hey, I used to do that! A bunch of us pilots that worked at Sky Sailing Airport (in Fremont, CA) teaching glider flying and flying the tow planes, getting hours worth of flying in and being paid for it was worth it. It wasn't very much $$ in those days. But we did it because we needed to accumulate hours. 

I also taught a ground school class, that's required for FAA certification prior to the flight test. The class would be held at a local Denny's restaurant, or in the cold hanger at the airfield. 

Actually, I was a Designated Pilot Examiner (appointed by the local FAA office @ Oakland Airport) so I could also test the skills of the want-to-fly-gliders pilots. If they passed they got their license to take passengers.

On the left: Bower's Flybaby (single-seat, single-engine plane), built by Dick Schumacher. 
On the right: Sailplanes lined up at Minden Airport, Nevada, getting ready for a race (and I was a line boy (girl), running the line, and getting them hooked up and launched. 

When we/I got the call to fly back to the east coast to the factory where Piper planes were built, the folks @ Piper Aircraft would pay us to show up, get into a new plane (with very minimal hours on it), and fly it to its new home somewhere in the US. They gave us enough to pay for avgas (fuel), to only fly during daylight hours, and for meals and a motel bed that was close to the airfield that we landed at. 

Often we'd fly to the destination as a group. Sometimes it was one (wo)man (me) on a solo flight. Sometimes the airfield manager/pilot would loan us/me a car to get into town.

Then when the economy went south....the folks @ Piper called us to repossess the planes. I'm not sure which was safer: the new plane, or the repo-ed plane. Sometimes the repo plane was a mess...but it had hours on it and should fly. The new plane had zero flying hours and anything could go wrong at any time. 

When I look back on those days, my late husband, Carl, was truly amazing. His father, Dick, was killed in a Boeing flight, due to rudder failure. I believe it was a Boeing 720 plane. 

Yet, Carl was the one who took me to Sky Sailing for an introductory lesson. Carl and his dad knew the gentleman that started Sky Sailing, Les Arnold. 

Carl would work out of our house as Naval Architect (yacht designer), and later at Alameda Marina, with our very young daughter, being dropped off at a family day care home, in Alameda. 

I know I've written about this previously but boy, did those memories flood my mind last night. 

Back to the present....I was/am so blessed. 

Live richly, marilyn


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