Gib Finney’s sequel to THE POWER OF UN
Taps for Orange
10 June 2008, Finney @ 6:32 am

[This post written 6/9/08; position: lat -57’49”, long -44’28”; temp -4C; wind chill -5C]

I am so totally bummed and so deep in mourning that I can hardly write tonight. The cool little radio-controlled plane, the orange one, crashed today. Just when it looked like it was time for a victory loop, too!

Everything seemed to be going great. The engine was doing great. It was all warmed up. Kim guided it through the takeoff, and the takeoff was just perfect. It went up really fast. There was practically no wind, which was why they decided to fly it today. The GPS beacon was loaded into the Nerf football, the controller was inside the Radio-Warm muffin to keep Kim and Steve’s hands warm while they flew the plane. It swooped up off the helodeck and climbed above the iceberg. After that, Steve controlled it with a second control set from up in the ship’s ice tower (more about which on some future, happier day).

Everything was going great. Then, as Steve banked the plane to bring it back over the iceberg, a cable in one of the ailerons snapped and he couldn’t control it anymore. It plummeted into the water, and I mean plummeted. It totally broke to pieces when it hit the water. The engine broke off and sank. The wing broke in half. It was so sad watching them fish the pieces out of the sea. Poor Ash. He has been looking forward to the flight so much and was so jazzed about it it’s almost like he was the one who hit the water. He didn’t even want to eat dinner tonight. Plus, the ROV got lost last night and they haven’t been able to find it yet. It has not been a great day.

On the other hand, we saw a Southern Right whale while we were waiting for the plane to take off! These are very rare, so we’re lucky to have seen one. He came up right beside the ship, just like he was curious. And right near him there was a whole flock of penguins playing around in the water! So we saw real penguins and a real whale today for the first time. Also, Strike hasn’t said a single thing in the past 24 hours. 🙂

Leave a Reply