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Everyone knows that flying is one of the statistically safest activities one can do. That does not mean the inhabitants of the skies remain accident-free, however. Each aircraft has a reputation which gives one clues as to its safety and dependability. Some artificial birds cannot avoid unfavorable rapport in their relationships with their potential passengers, and even their pilots. An inauspicious wind blew through the V-Tail Bonanza in the olden days. Despite this aircraft’s best efforts to shutter its own occupants down into the concoction of clay, silt, or sand which would end their lives, this low wing Beech monoplane was a mere portend to the modern day kamikaze of craft which climb the common air. Recently a new plane, one with small control surfaces (and consequently high landing speeds) has ended more lives in less time than the old shaky master ever could. Thus the Cirrus bedimmed the old Bonanza’s reputation as a plane to be feared for its formidably defiant spirit. The old name stuck though. A title earned by luring those inexperienced pilots in by flaunting its spacious leather interior in front of their fortunes. Such coaxed naivety; tempted ineptitude reared by sleek lines and a smiling salesman with a set of keys. The doctor killer.
There was no surprise. None whatsoever. The crash happened quickly in the beautiful high-altitude landscapes of the mountains just behind the doctor’s home airport. Investigators were called by those who heard the distressed broadcast and arrived at the alpine field within a couple days. What they saw was well documented on their cameras and in their journals, all while continuously being crosschecked against their expert opinion. A very hard emergency landing due to the low-lift altitude had smacked the plain against the ground and torn it to pieces. The damage to the field and the wreckage trail all matched up with an inexperienced hurried decent. Although they never liked to see someone die, the team of investigative agents from the FAA and NTSB were so unastonished that they barely batted an eye. They did however think the particular model of plane that crashed was pretty sleek. It had every latest gizmo: the full airplane parachute, full glass panel, and even its own black box. This little vocal store was interesting, and although it was not on the list for checks in a general aviation incident, the team decided to give the box a listen, if for no other reason than to evaluate the quality of the condensed technology against that of black boxes in bigger jets.
They all gathered around and pressed ‘play’ on the analyzing software the bent recording device was hooked up to. Marvelous and clear, the voices of the dead around them were personified through the speaker. They heard the same radio call the tower had picked up a couple days earlier. The pilot knew he was going down, and struggled to remember the setup procedures for a quick touchdown. Then they heard the pilot confirm successful gear deployment. Next they heard him say under his breath to flare, at seemingly the correct time in the sequence. Now they froze and listened closely, waiting for the ripping and tearing of the plane. In only moments the physician verbally confirmed the aircraft had come to a complete stop. A perfect landing.
This time around, the doctor killer was innocent. Someone had done a perfect job of disintegrating the plane after it landed, making it look like, even to experts, that it had caught dirt at high speeds. The investigators really, really hoped, at least for the rest of their lives, that it was indeed…someone.