AirVenture, Day 6
Today was yet another day that didn’t seem to have a particular theme. I was only in the booth for a couple of hours, but did some very well received demos to a few of the seemingly limitless number of pilots who have no idea what Flight Simulator can do for them, or, in some cases, that it exists at all. I talked with someone and their publisher about something I can’t talk about yet, and I met for a half hour with that guy who has that one airplane that’s part of another project I can’t talk about. He was very excited to help us out.
It’s always remarkable to see assorted flavors of Flight Simulator running at so many other people’s booths. There’s at least half a dozen avionics manufacturers that you try their products while flying with ours. You’d think they’d at least say "thank you", but what are you going to do? It’s not like we’re the richest company in the world with an army of lawyers … Oh, wait. Actually, we love to see FS on display like that. The closer we come to ubiquity in the aviation world, the happier I’ll be. And, to paraphrase Ian Fleming, nothing ubiqs like ubiquity.
I had a wrap-up interview today with Sky Blue Radio, and, in it, I said something convoluted about how time seems to be a bit schizophrenic at AirVenture – suddenly, it’s the eve of the last day, and I’m only just now getting started … yet some part of me feels like I’ve been here for years. Regardless, tomorrow is the day when I get to clean up the mess I made, shipping all the stuff back to Redmond that I shipped out here before I left.
The thoughts of a lot of people here go out to the family of Gerald Beck, the pilot and builder of a scratch-built P-51A recreation that was killed in a formation landing collision with a P-51D in front of the crowd here yesterday. This was probably the only time in my life when I was glad not to see a Mustang. I heard the crash, and I’ve seen some pictures, and that’s already too much. (The images aren’t hard to find on the web – I can’t bring myself to post any links here). There’s supposed to be some solace in the fact that he died doing what he loved, and I hope that’s the case for his friends and family. Doing the things we love to do, those rare and precious indulgences that nothing can keep us away from, these things are what give us life … for me, there’s something particularly terrible when, in the random flash of an instant, they take it all back.
I suppose, however, that such is the risk of passion – the more we love something, the more power we give it to break our hearts.
Now that I’ve taken such a steep turn for the contemplative, I’m doing a lot more thinking than typing. Given that, I’ll go ahead and offer up a few of my favorite pictures of the day (those taken by me, that is), then roll the dice and see if tonight’s the night that I actually eke out more than 4 hours’ sleep.