Recent posts have stirred a memory that may be of interest to other pilots.
Not too long after Mt. St. Helens blew in 1980, I was alone, and southbound
on the east side of the mountain. It was a beautiful sunny day and my brain
evidently was in a gear nearing neutral. Just scanning for other aircraft
and the instruments. Totally relaxed and enjoying the flight.

Suddenly the plane seemed to hit a brick wall. Wham! I was thrown forward
in my belt. Then the bottom fell out. I also recall having trouble holding
on to the wheel and thinking it might break off in my hands as the plane
dropped. I recall reacting by shoving the throttle in and saying something
unrepeatable out loud, then wondering what I could do next. Looking out
the window I saw that I had dropped right side up, deep into the river
valley that originates on the mountain. In a few seconds everything was
well again.

Hindsight tells a lot. Our airport is very near Mt. Rainier and Mt Adams.
I know about mountain waves. A lot of our flying is in the mountains. Yes I
hear you...... I definitely should have known better. I just didn't expect
one as the wind was not blowing on the north side of the mountain before
passing it. But that's no excuse. Evidently the pilot needed to re-learn
some lessons the hard way.

Three things came to mind that day. I remember wondering if I had been in
another plane besides my Musketeer would it have broken up in flight due to
the stresses? I also recall being glad that I was dead center over the
valley floor when it happened. The Musketeer needed all the air it
originally had under it . It was also good that I was alone. Only one
frightened person that way.

What was kind of interesting was the "hitting a wall" effect prior to the
aircraft dropping.

Sandy
Be 23.... 113FC


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