Cole Sits Left Seat in a DC-9

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Who says you can’t get into an airliner cockpit anymore? Returning from a recent vacation with the kids in a DC-9, we let everyone else off the plane first so we could take a little more time with the kids and our bags getting up the aisle to leave. When we got to the cockpit, the FO offered the kids a chance to see the cockpit up close. Pretty darned cool.

Cole got into the left seat. The FO offered Ella the right seat, but she was a little intimidated. I was on the verge of asking for the right seat myself, but thought better of it.

And the coolest part? Sitting there in the left seat, Cole looks the FO straight in the eye and says “Y’know, my dad’s a pilot!”

Love that boy, I do . . .

Airspeed’s First Officer In CFIT Incident

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Airspeed’s first officer, Cole Tupper, was involved in an incident involving controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) on Thursday. Attempting a nonstandard search and rescue maneuver during a brief unsupervised moment that afternoon, he abruptly discovered that the apparatus he had fashioned to allow him to suspend himself from the railing at the top of the stairs was not up to the task and he and the ill-fated apparatus experienced a rapid altitude loss before meeting the foyer floor below.

Search and rescue forces were immediately on the scene and transported him to the ER 30 minutes later when it became apparent that the incident involved more than the standard boo-boo.

He fractured three metatarsals (bones in the foot) and will be a little heavy on the right rudder for the next month or so due to the cast. He happened to be wearing his orange astronaut launch and reentry suit at the time, much to the amusement of the emergency room staff.

A stern conversation with the Wilshire House FBO managers has elicited a commitment from Mr. Tupper to consult with management before attempting such activities again. Mr. Tupper promptly filed the appropriate NASA reporting service forms. He has not been contacted by the NTSB in connection with the incident and management is hopeful both that his immediate plans for flight operations will be able to continue unabated and that his renewed commitment to the FBO-suggested safety program will avoid similar incidents in the future.