I think it was Tuesday morning's Columbus Dispatch that greeted me with a full color picture of an RV-7 speared into the ground. I had heard, of course, that there had been a fatal crash a mile or so away from the Marysville airport, but I was still a bit shocked at the sensationalist media's (although you'd be correct in thinking that nothing the "if it bleeds, it leads" crowd will do to prop up their declining industry should surprise me any more) decision to sell the spectacle of such a tragic incident. It reminded me of the shock I received one morning a number of years ago when a similar picture, this one of Barbie Hadden embracing her sister-in-law after having learned of Ken's death in his Extra 300, was prominently, and in my opinion disgustingly, plastered on the front page. Vampires.
That bit of editorializing serves as a segue for the following anecdote. While having lunch in the break room at work on Wednesday the conversation, which I was not really participating in but was aware of in much the same way that you "listen" to Rosie O'Donnell when you are unfortunate enough to be near a TV broadcasting her inane bloviations, turned to the topic of said accident. There were three or four other employees in the room, along with a temp worker that comes in fairly regularly to stuff envelopes for us. She's quite a nice lady, and we're all pleased that she returns every other week to help us out.
So, they're chatting about the plane crash with me only half listening when she rather forcefully asks the rhetorical question, "What kind of idiot flies around in a homemade airplane??"
Her first clue that she may have said something, uh, interesting was the complete silence (rare, I can tell you!) from the rest of the group. The moment dragged on for what to her must have seemed like an eternity. Then:
"Dave, you want to take that one?"
I could only laugh. She was naturally aghast at her faux pas when I explained why the subject was of interest to me, but I also tried to relieve her angst by telling her that her opinion is shared by many, including a lot of pilots that fly store bought planes, and that I was not in the least bit offended.
Still, I'm not sure she's going to want to come back now, and that would be a real shame. I'd like to show her some pictures of planes like Rick Gray's RV-10, which is an example of a "homemade" airplane that is at least as well constructed as a store bought plane, if not better.