Nov 2016 Damn, am I overflying a SWAT event?!
What the heck is going on below me? I am low, 800′ AGL, the sun has set, it’s getting dark and ultra bright LED police strobe lights are flashing at intersections ahead of me. I see SWAT trucks in a recently combined corn field ahead. All intersections within 2 sq miles are blocked by police with lights flashing. I’m overflying, approaching my home airfield, KMQJ, anxious to land before dark but what the heck is going on down there? I see a bunker in an open field with SWAT vehicles nearby. Everyone is hunkered down, no one is moving. The lightbulb comes on and I think, is it a really bad idea to be flying through here, right now? YES, full power and I get moving NOW!
Our adventure begins Friday with two Rans, an S7 & S6. Two lady pilots flying a taildragger and a nosedragger. Two gals on 123.45 spewing rpms, airspeed, ground speed, altitude, ETA and “awe it’s so pretty up here” stuff. A fun, two-ship, girls’ flying weekend. We flew to an awesome local grass strip chili fly-in! We flew to breakfast! We flew to lunch! We logged time and best of all, we had a great time flying our birds together everywhere we went.
We had a great girlie day at Rough River. There’s nothing not to like about country cooking and the timely Craft Fair we just happened upon. All was well until we realized daylight was in short supply and we needed to be on our way. We’re girls, we’re organized, and we’re ready to go but you know, things happen. The walk back to the airport is a little long. The bathroom stop takes a few minutes. Untie and preflight take time. And the clock is ticking!
No problem; There’s no fuel at Rough River but we’re soon off and headed to Tell City, Indiana for a quick fuel up. But as luck would have it, their fuel pump turned out to be the fuel pump from hell! It cost us 45 minutes on the ground at KTEL, all late afternoon after having turned our midwest clocks back one hour at 2:00 a.m. the night before. We’d lost a whole hour of daylight overnight! Sunset was now 5:36 pm and I, for one, was hell bent on getting home before sunset. Would we make it back in time with this credit card eating, credit card denying fuel pump that was hell bent on making us late?
So how does it end? I over flew the unknown SWAT event to the south, slicked in announcing my right base to Runway 07 at MQJ. 5 Clicks and the runway lights twinkled. Â On short final on 122.7 I announced to Beth “Do not follow me in on 07. Land on 25 or 34! Reason when we’re on the ground!” I did. She did. Neither of us received gunshots from below but I still wonder if we came close.
I looked up the news reports when I got home.Â Fox 59, Man firing shots near campground.