Date: Oct 1 2019
Subject: Replacement Pilots
Long time listener and private pilot from New Zealand.
I have really enjoyed your show over the years and having finally made it to Oshkosh this year it was great to see the faces behind the mic at your live show.
Listening to your last podcast about replacement pilots reminded me of a well known and legendary New Zealand Aviator, Fred Ladd.
After returning from flying Avengers in the Pacific during WWII and then working for the airlines he started his own small Tourist airline flying a Grumman Widgeon in the Hauraki Gulf, - this was during the 50’s and 60’s.
He was a real character and, in his biography, “A Shower of Spay and We’re Away” the story is told of him sitting in the cabin before the passengers arrived. Once they were on board he sat for a while before starting to grumble about the flight and ask where the pilot was and if he didn’t arrive soon he’d fly the plane.
He’d sit for a little longer before finally getting out of his seat moving up to the cockpit, flick though the manual and say it doesn’t look that hard, start the engines and they’d be away – with a few slightly worried passengers no doubt…
One of his favorite tricks was prior to arriving at the destination he would hand the aircraft manual back to one of the passengers and ask if they would look up the part about landing…!
Thanks again for the great show, keep up the good work,