They’d pick a time to meet. Their rendezvous point: 3,000 feet above a bridge at Lake Martin, 25 miles away. He’d be flying a repaired AT6 trainer. She’d be in a much slower Piper J-3 Cub.
“When I’d get to Lake Martin, I’d see this bright yellow Cub putt-putting along,” he said. “I’d be real proud: She was on time and on target.”He’d pull down and fly in formation with her. They couldn’t communicate by radio; her Cub didn’t have one. All they could do was smile, wave and blow kisses.
Seeing each other in flight created a bond. When they flew together, it was as if they were holding hands in midair. At the end of their aerial encounter, he’d peel away, only to circle back. He’d sneak up behind her, pull in front and leave her in a trail of airwash. Her tiny craft shook mightily. She’d come to expect it every weekend.“It didn’t faze me,” she’d say. “I was the better pilot. … I just didn’t fly the fastest aircraft.”
What a couple of blistering, water-walking badasses. You know, it’s easy to forget amidst all the crazy that goes on that human beings have always been pretty awesome, and that whatever limits others set for us, somebody’s gonna go out there and blow those limits away.