For clarification, the image used in this post was found using a search on Bing and is assumed to be royalty free as well as I claim no ownership of the image, I’m just borrowing it for illustration.
This part is speculation and interpretation of what was thought to have happened. The FAA deemed it an unavoidable accident with no one or nothing at fault. My dad says I hit a wind shear from what he saw and the t.v. news footage shows the same. When I made that final gain of altitude, my Ultralight “nosed up” and caused a stall in the engine. At which time I saw myself rolling over into a steep dive to the ground, from 1600 feet in the air at about 83 mph. The assumption is this is the point where I blacked out. I have no memory of it all until I woke up in the hospital 3 1/2 weeks later. I had flashes of the accident but they didn’t seem real, they seems like I was seeing someone else’s dream. I was informed that I had broken 73 bones, some of which included both legs, both arms, both wrists, all of my fingers, and my jaw. I had a punctured lung and a puntured kidney. All I knew was I was in pain and I wished for death. I bear the scars of that day God decided to let me die, some physical, some mental. I spent 3 months healing and learning how to walk again, eating thru a feeding tube. During the early weeks of therapy I was told I was D.O.A. when getting to the hospital. Doctors fought hard to bring me back to life and patch me up. The priest came to see me in the hospital, prayed for me and watched over me like one of God’s soldiers. This added to the confusion, God wanted me dead. I have watched the footage of my crash many 100’s of times and still can’t explain it.
So, I healed. Went back to Texas. Except the plans had changed. I was no longer going to be going to Catholic high school. I was going home to pack and move to South Dakota to live with my dad and work with him. 2 days before I was to be picked up by my dad, we got a phone call. The phone call was from my grand mother, to tell me my dad had died earlier that morning. How? Ironically, in a crash not much unlike my own. With one exception, the doctors were unable to fix him, score one for God. We left immediately to go to the funeral. I buried my father, a man who loved to fly almost as much as me. I mourned for him. I still wonder if he is happy where he is, where ever that is. It is not often a loved ones death is captured on tape, my dad’s death was, and I have watched it many times also. The FAA case determined my dad’s crash as a mechanical failure/ mechanical fatigue.
Where is this “Loving God” I had learned to fear? Why won’t God answer me? My freshman year of high school I made the choice to turn my back on God, religion, and faith. I had been lied to. I couldn’t find the truth because it does not exist. I have spent the rest of my life depending on the people around me, as they depend on me. I make no secrets that I do not believe in God and I do not fantasize that God exists. I am not mad at God any more or any less. There just isn’t any room for fictitious folklore in my life and I challenge humanity to prove to me (and themselves) that God does exist.
I have spent most of my life trying to remember what it was like to be dead. I will never know what happened to me exactly. I will never know how I survived such a destructive crash. I am here on planet Earth because doctors knew how to fix broken people. I value the time I have with my family, this time is precious to me. I never know when it might be the last time I see them.
I haven’t flown for recreation since that day. Since I joined the Air Force, following in the footsteps of my dad, I have had to fly quite a bit. When I retired in 1999, I made my last flight and have not been on an airplane since. I hate flying, it scares me, and I have made the choice to avoid it at all costs. I changed on the day I died, I lost my love for many things I held dear. I lost my dad, but I know he died doing something he absolutely loved, flying high, as the birds would fly.