The Blue Goose – A Story Long Promised



~~~

It is a story I reserve for the coup d’etat of one-ups-manship common among the banter of friends. A phrase that often leaves the listener a bit perplexed and dis-believing, and immediately begs for further dissertation.

“I was once run over by an airplane”.

My father was a pilot in the Army Air Corps. He even worked as a corporate pilot for a while. But his real claim to fame was being a flight instructor, for which he had won many awards and recognition. His students ranged from teen members of an Aerospace Adventurer’s Club to wealthy businessmen who saw owning a plane as a symbol of success. We grew up jumping into a twin-engine Cessna for vacation like most families packed up the station wagon for a trip, as his access to this network always seemed to come with permission to use these planes when he wished.

One such student was Mr. Cuthbertson. He had made his money owning a snack distribution company and lived on a small farm just across the road from the junior high school I attended. At the rear of the chicken coop was a small hangar and home of what we lovingly referred to as the “Blue Goose”. A single-engine, three-seater which was little more than canvas over an aluminum frame.

One Saturday morning, I accompanied my father to the farm to get a little flying in. If I were lucky, once in the air, my father may allow me to steer for a while. We would take off and land in the grass field which ran the length of the property and was purposely left untilled. There was even an orange windsock on the barn to show wind speed and direction for take-offs and landings.

The hangar was open on one end and had a slight uphill grade coming out of it. To get it out of the hangar, Dad would attach a steering hitch to the front wheel and pull the plane up the slight grade until it was on level ground and the engine could be started safely. This morning, watching my father heaving to pull the plane up the grade, I decided to be the good son and help. I put my hands on one of the wing struts and began pushing for all I was worth. It certainly helped, but when my old man lost his grip on the hitch, I did not have the strength to hold the plane in place until he could get started pulling again. Slowly the plane began to roll backwards, despite my valiant efforts to the contrary. Eventually, I slipped on the still dewy ground and lost my grip. I fell and watched my very short life pass before my eyes as the plane rolled right toward me. Dad was able to re-attach the hitch in time to keep the plane from hitting the back wall of the hangar with its tail, but not quick enough to keep the right-side tire from running directly over my splayed-out legs. As the wheel ran over my legs, I began screaming bloody murder, more out of anticipation than of injury. My bodily resistance may have been just enough pause for Dad to get a grip on things again. Once he set the parking brake on the hitch, he ran to me to see what had occurred. Luckily, the extremely light weight of the plane and the very low tire pressures of its wheels allowed it to pass over my legs with no damage done. Although, at the time, I was sure I was dying. He helped me up, brushed me off, checked for injuries, and when there was none, we both had a great laugh at what had just happened. The day included a wonderful day in the air flying and precious moments with a loving father, but the real gift was now being able to tell people, “I was once run over by an airplane”.

By the way, I was also once shot out of a torpedo tube, but that is a story for another time.

~~~



Comments
24 Responses to “The Blue Goose – A Story Long Promised”
  1. Oh, what great memories we had being “co-pilot” for our dad when he wanted to be up in the air. He would give instructions to these plane owners and barter instead of being paid, so that he could earn enough ‘air time’ hours for these little jaunts or fly to somewhere for vacations. Here’s a little story you may not have ever heard to add to your memories. We went, dad included, to some social function at the church, and Rev. Swank made some comment about being surprised to see him there because he never saw him in church on Sundays. Dad replied that he worked a second job as a flight instructor on weekends, and that there was a good chance, when he was up in the air, he was closer to God than he (Rev. Swank) was. Took the wind right out of the pastor’s sails!

    • Brad Osborne says:

      I remember that story and Rev. Swank. I have an old photo of you, me , and Mom next to the twin engine Cessna we had all flown in numerous times, but I did not use it. Not because of the hilarious plaid pants I was wearing (presumably fashionable at the time), but because it just wasn’t the same plane as the story. Glad this touched on some fond memories for you. Love you with all my heart!

  2. joyroses13 says:

    Fun story!
    Shot out of a torpedo tube? You raised my curiosity. 🙂

  3. beth says:

    wow, way to open a conversation ! James Bond has nothing on you

  4. Jim Borden says:

    that was a great story; I would have told this one on my first week of blogging! It seems like the thought of being run over by a plane was much worse than the actual pain. When’s the ast time you were up in such a small plane?

  5. Francisco Bravo Cabrera says:

    Great story Brad! I really enjoyed it! Great memories too for you!

  6. petespringerauthor says:

    Wow! My best airplane stories are pretty lame compared to that.

  7. It almost makes me wish I was run over by an airplane. I could use the story.

  8. kristianw84 says:

    Finally!! I’ve been waiting 2 years for this story! It’s better than I could have imagined. Thank you for sharing this wonderful memory!! Now, how long am I going to have to wait for the torpedo tube story!? 😂

    I’m sure you have many great stories. I’d love to sit and listen to you talk for hours!

  9. jonicaggiano says:

    Brad what an amazing story. You had a loving home life full of adventure and love. I am happy for you and your sister. You were blessed that God was protecting you. I am so glad he did too. The world a better place with you in it. Love ❤️ Jonikins

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thank you, Jonikins! We were blessed to never want for anything, but our childhood would not have been considered ideal, especially for my sister. But we survive, we grow, and we strive for better. All anyone can really do.

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