RIP: Jan 26, 2002
She was a Cessna-172,
a nice and elegant bird bearing the registration N5264R, also known
as Six-Four-Romeo. She was the first mechanical temptress to
steal my heart.
There was nothing wonderful about 64R,
she was a well worn, 1975 built, standard Cessna 172 with a 150HP Lycoming
engine. Like most other Cessna 172's she flew well, handled well and was
quite fun to fly. With just me in the plane it would shoot up on takeoff
with aplomb, climbing up on a cool day at over 1000 feet/min. The airframe
was slippery and the controls were light and responsive.
Load her up with a few adults and soon
she would be at the maximum gross weight. Her demeanor changed. Pull up
the yoke to go up, and you could hear her groan (like my kid) "Do I
have to really do that?". Slowly she would rise and the rate of climb
barely registered on the VSI.
64R was the first aircraft I flew
for fun. Took her to Flagstaff when Avi wanted to see snow. Took her to
Sedona just for larks. Took her flying with my flying buddies. Took her to
San Diego -- my first really long cross country. Took her to Catalina and
landed at the airport in
64R had no recorded accident
record with the NTSB, till one nice and lovely day, Jan 26, 2002. The sun
was bright, the sky was clear, the air was cool. 64R was on her final
approach to Payson
Municipal Airport. A gust of wind and poor recovery by the pilot ended
the long safe career of 64R. (Thankfully, No one was seriously
She is, and will be missed.