This really hurt, the first person I knew and had flown with that lost his life in a crash. Mary and I grieve for the pilots and their families. This stirs so many thoughts and emotions.
Al was a coworker at the DRBA. Even though he worked at the airport, and me in engineering, we had a common bond, we were pilots. We shared many conversations about flying, airplanes, my airport contracts, and contractors.Al was always the one who would drive up in the Airport Op's vehicle while I was getting 08Romeo ready, and greet you with a smile. Al loved flying and instructing. We typically discussed my flight, weather, and with a smile and wave he would say safe flight and get back to his duties in Operations.
When I purchased our Debonair Al instructed for my transition training. While in training I needed a part at 58M, he volunteered the 78 Cessna 182Q he flew to run down and pick it up. I naturally went to climb in the right seat, I was quickly directed to the left seat for additional high performance time. Vince climbed in the back and Al was right seat. Uh...Al? I haven't flown a Cessna in many years and never a 182. "If you can fly the Debonair you can fly the 182, climb aboard", okie dokie.
Vince summed it up, "ILG will not be the same without you around. Blue skies and tail winds, Al." I will miss him, and so will the flying community. Vince, thanks for sharing the pics of us on our flight in the 182.