Pat Huey was One Hell of a Pilot

I met Pat in 1977 when we were both stationed at George AFB.  We became friends and then he became my flight instructor. he was one hell of a pilot.

A pilot came out to fly Pat’s F-4 Phantom II.

Pilot: “How’s the jet fly, Chief?”

Pat: “You get the speed up and then pull back on the stick.  Somebody should have mentioned that to you by now”

Dry Nebraskan humor.

Dick Rutan offered us both jobs at Mojave Airport.

We would roam the Mojave Desert with Warriors and Arrows.
Pat was working mid-shift and was trying to build his hours towards the instructor license. On Sundays, he’d pick me up and we’d go flying. Anywhere. Some where along the line he’d give me the airplane and nap. On day, I asked to teach me how to land if I had to. He did. We were , no….I was doing touch and goes on Rabbit Dry Lake. We were in a Piper Arrow. On one pass, I put it down and throttled up for the touch and go. The plane felt “loose”. Pat had retracted the landing gear on me. When I noticed, he looked over and said, “This is what we call low level in Nebraska”. I yanked the stick back and said, “This is what we call max climb in California”.

On one pass I just crested the ridge of the dry lake at an altitude of about 50 feet just as a six pack of dirt bikers crested from the other side.  I didn’t hit them but they fell like bowling pins.  Pat casually turned to me and said , “Don’t land”.

That’s me in the left seat with Pat in the right.

Pat got his instructor’s license and much more.  He wound up becoming an airline pilot.  He also served in the Air Force Reserve as Loadmaster.  On one trip they were hauling some General around in a C-141.  Tsgt Huey took the controls while the flight crew went potty and grabbed something to eat.  That’s when the General popped his head into the cockpit to find an enlisted guy flying the aircraft, alone.  He quietly brought this odd fact up with aircraft commander.  Munching a sandwich the Major said,

“Relax General.  Pat has more flying hours  than you, me and Larry combined,”

Back then I was an expert on identifying military aircraft from any era. Pat patiently taught me about civilian aircraft.  The difference between a Warrior and an Arrow.  The difference between a 707 and a DC-9.

Pat flew the B-29 “Fifi”

How cool is that.  He offered me a free ride if Fifi ever came to Vegas. Maybe at shot at the controls.  Knowing Pat, I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not.

Then Pat died suddenly of a heart attack.

I miss my dear friend.  We had just connected after a couple decades of being out of touch when he died.  I miss him and yes, this is a homage to the best pilot I have ever known.

Sylvia Escaped Scientology

Sylvia Wagner-DeWall is an amazing woman. She escaped the Church of Scientology with her Family and Marraige  intact.

ME AND SYLVIA

I met her in Germany when she wandered into our Flight Office. We were both Stationed in West Germany and were in the 313th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, 50th Aircraft Generation Squadron, 50th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hahn Airbase, West Germany. We were both in the same Flight, Baker Flight. The “Bogus Baker Boys” as opposed to our sister Flight “Unstable Able”.

“Unstable Able”

Honestly, many young women wind up in the maintenance career field and can’t hack it with heavy tool boxes and long hours or on their on a personal mission to find a husband and get pregnant. Not necessarily in that order.

Sylvia would have none of that. She held up her own end on the flight line while fending off sexual harassment with a combination laser wit and devastating anger. At 20 years old, she was also a knock out in a mini-skirt and a great dancer. Don’t try to out drink her, you’ll be dragged back to the dorm.

HER STRUGGLE

Life was good for Syl and then this happened….

I was stunned. I had my own brush with Scientology when I was a 19-year-old Airman and survived by getting in and out faster that you can say “fuck this”. The first hint of her torment was when I saw that video on the Internets. The next few years I anguished as she and Tim wandered the country. Looking for a place to live and dodging the Scientology Goons. I did three years myself hiding from the NSA. Different reason, same effect.

Then she and her family were settled. I still will not publish where she lives. Her Facebook page was sealed. Nothing in, nothing out. For good reasons she was very, very cautious. I would not put it past the Church of Scientology  to have them eliminated with extreme prejudice. This was the impact of her publishing her being “declared”. It ripped the mask of a very dangerous and damning cult. I was also in and out of The Church of Latter-Day Saints, another nice, healthy cult if you’re shopping for one.

That last sentence was sarcasm. Stay away from them too.

HER ESCAPE

Since the beginning of her escape from Scientology, I’ve been praying for Sylvia and her Family. Her and Tim have rebuilt their business and her son is in a very good rock band.

Read more about Sylvia and Scientology here.

What you should take from this is be kind to each other, especially family. You simply cannot know the personal Hell they are going through. Also reach back when someone musters up the courage to reach out for help. You could save their life.