Thursday, November 29, 2007

Barn Stormin'

We had quite the adventure around here this afternoon. Occasionally we'll see a small plane flying in low figure-8's right at the edge of the undeveloped property next to and across the street from us. There has always been an element of wonder as we watch the aerial acrobatics that seem reminiscent of crop-dusting days, yet we never have had an answer as to why the planes would be crop-dusting undeveloped land.

This particular afternoon began like many others, with a little yellow plane circling and diving for at least half an hour after I got home with the kids. It was pretty cool to see it storming the tree line over yonder above the neighbor's property. I was thinking I should have gotten out my camera to show how close to the ground that plane seemed to be.

About 30 minutes later, the performance moved a little closer as the crop duster (as we have come to call it) suddenly buzzed right over the house. What the heck?!

We piled back outside to see what was happening. Sure enough, he came back as if on a repeating loop, and he passed not very far over the house at all. I ran inside for the camera, and came back out in time to catch at least two more passes directly over the house.

By this time, Dawn had called the sheriff. As cool as the idea of barn storming sounds, it somehow loses its glamour when you are the one on the ground, and your children are right there in the yard with you. Not to mention your house. Well the sheriff called back and confirmed that this was indeed a crop dusting plane, being used by A&M students to practice crop dusting maneuvers, over the property next to us.

About half an hour later, the barn stormer returned. Mom called the sheriff again, bless her soul. I think the pilot believed we were simply enjoying the show, and never considered we were calling the police and recording him for evidence. He actually did a loop-de-loop right over the pool after he had buzzed the house four more times.

This was a really cool experience in some ways. I got good pictures, and nobody got hurt. It provided almost an hour of entertainment, and the kids loved it.

And yet, it was also so very NOT cool.

I find myself hating the spoil-sport-ism I feel, cringing at the fact of how uptight we must all seem to someone on the other end of this experience, getting chewed out by an instructor for a little flashy performance.

But common sense says that flying at such a low altitude leaves very little room for error. These may be ace pilots, but an unexpected sputter, a slight misjudment, and suddenly there could be an ace pilot planting a crop duster in the roof of our house, or worse, in the swing set with my babies inside. And if something did happen, I am pretty sure there would have to be significant inconvenience on our part even if someone else paid for all the damages. No, it's just not as cool when you consider the reason for the thrill is because of the implied danger, and moms are in the business of keeping their cubs away from danger.

So Mr. Hot Shot Crop Duster, thanks for the memories. It really was a thrill. But I have the photos for my album now, so please keep your future airspace antics over terrain that is only inhabited by longhorns and deer. I will be watching, and I will be just as impressed, I promise.

Mother Bear

1 comment:

  1. ace pilots? These guys are Texas A&M crop dusters... not exactly Top Gun if you know what I mean...


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