Escape is Sweet
We had seen a bi-winged crop duster off in the distance over the Feather river and beyond.We had almost forgotten about him when up ahead he flies across our road to land on a paved farm strip to re-load. Shirley loves to photograph airplanes. The road we are on is deadly. Little traffic on the road but what there is is high speed, with few places to park. I zoom into a spot in front of a gate. The gate is where the air-strip comes to the road we are on. The only place to park. The airplane is loaded and ready to take off within two minutes. There is a steel gate between us and the runway. We should be safe? The aircraft is at full throttle and moving toward us when I think he looks overloaded. His wheels are still on the ground when within 100 yards of us. Pull up! I almost can feel the stick in my hand and my feet on the rudder. Pull up!! Shirley says "my god" is he going to make it?
As the airplane roars over us I have taken my last photograph of him and turn and ask Shirley " did he go below the telephone wires just above our Jeep? The roar of the huge radial engine and the prop wash as he went over buffeted the Jeep and we both hung on. Maybe it was a good day to read and write?