Not Immortal, Just Never Forgotten

It was strange, indeed, to see the notice on Facebook. Neptunus Lex was gone.

Stranger still that one of his last posts reflected on an unexpected “issue“. How one trusts an aircraft after a thing like that baffles me – it just feels like such a deep and mortal betrayal. And yet, he climbed back in as I am sure he did a thousand times.

Someone commented with a snippet from a favorite…just so, yes.
(about flying the SR-71)
“The cockpit was my office. It was a place where I experienced many emotions and learned many lessons. It was a place of work, but also a keeper of dreams.It was a place of deadly serious encounters, yet there I discovered much about life. I learned about joy and sorrow, pride and humility, and fear, and overcoming fear. I saw much from that office that most people would never see. At times it terrified me, yet I could always feel at home there. It was my place, at that time in space, and the jet was mine for those moments. Though it was a place where I could quickly die, the cockpit was a place where I truly lived.’
– Brian Shul, Sled Driver

A terrible loss for so many – I hope his family can one day know peace in their hearts instead of the loss.

4 thoughts on “Not Immortal, Just Never Forgotten”

  1. So true, Dann. I believe people author their hearts online in ways they do not reveal in-person. Particularly those with a high literary quality to their spirit…

    It just feels like the best are leaving in droves this month…
    Heaven must be in need of really good people these days…

  2. Never encountered Neptunus Lex until I saw your post and Brigid's comments. The streamer story is an insight into “just another day at the office”. Very complicated high-tech integrated systems have failures. You learn to live with them. Always sad when we lose one of the team though.

    Your excerpt from Brian Shul's “Sled Driver” highlights the small world aspects. Brian was in the same squadron as I was flying the AT-38 instructing prospective fighter pilots just graduated from pilot training and enroute to their first fighter. That was before Brian went to the SR-71.

    Brian had been in an aircraft accident in Southeast Asia in a T-28 in Laos and was badly burned on the hands, arms and face. Despite his injuries and scars he was able to return to flight status and eventually got to the very exclusive SR club. Quite a special guy.

  3. Chills, Ed, at that linkage in history.

    I've a deep, DEEP adoration for that aircraft so the quote was quite apt, for me.

    A small world, indeed. I am…all squiggly in the belly, now…

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