|Bell 407 N723PH landing at Ontonagon, Michigan, Sept. 2, 2011|
You know all those sentimental stories about octogenarian former B-17 crewmen once again riding, with mighty lumps in their throats, aboard a preserved Flying Fortress, the bomber in which they survived enemy fire over Europe during World War II?
Something a little like that happened to me this afternoon when a Bell 407 medevac helicopter visited Ontonagon, Michigan, for a little show-and-tell at the town's annual Labor Day festival. N723PH is the very same aircraft that almost exactly two years ago, on August 23, 2009, ferried me from Ontonagon Hospital to Aspirus Hospital in Wausau, Wisconsin. I had just had a heart attack and two days later would undergo a triple bypass.
Not that I wanted to ride in her again. Once was enough. But it was nice, very nice, to say hello again to a machine in which I had survived a memorable—to say the least—morning of my life. Lump in the throat? Sure.
|My "battle station" in the helicopter.|