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C-130J Crash Reminds Me of the Dangerous Nature of Aviation

There are few sights more somber than the memorial honoring those we lost.

There are few sights more somber than the memorial honoring those we lost.

Flying is an inherently dangerous venture for man as we were created as land-dwellers with our eyes to the sky longing to be there.  Due to this inherently dangerous nature, I have often heard it said that if you stay in this business long enough you will know someone who loses their life in it.  This is a near certainty as a military member.

It turns out that it took five years for me.

As avid followers of aviation, I am sure you are all aware of the C-130J that crashed near Jalalabad, Afghanistan last week.  Very little has been released on the accident itself, which is good because it does no good to speculate before all of the necessary information can be gathered to understand what actually happened.

What has been released are the names of the airmen that lost their lives in this tragedy.  For many people these are simply names.  For others they are American Heroes, and rightly so because they are.  However, there is a small group of people who knew them, and I just happen to be one of them.

The first time I met Capt Jonathan Golden he was simply Officer Trainee Golden in the early days of Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base.  By no means were we close friends during our time at Maxwell, but I was always impressed with the quiet leadership of Jonathan.  While I never flew with him, I would imagine that he is exactly the type of pilot I would have loved working with.

It always impacts me as an aviator when I hear about a plane crash, and even more so when it is a military aircraft.  There is nothing we can do to bring these great servants back, but what we can do is learn from this accident so it never happens again, and we can hold them in our memory so that they are never forgotten.

So before you go and fly again take a moment to make sure that you are being as safe as you can be, and take a moment to remember the names Capt. Jonathan Golden, Capt. Jordan Pierson, Staff Sgt. Ryan Hammond, Senior Airman Quinn Johnson-Harris, Senior Airman Nathan Sartain and Airman 1st Class Kcey Ruiz.  They gave their lives doing something they loved so that we can all remain free.

October 5, 2015 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Remembering True Heroes of Aviation

As a member of the Air Force I regularly think about those that went before and left an amazing legacy for me and my contemporaries to follow.  They went up against incredible odds flying aircraft that went from inception to production in months, not the decades we see now.  On top of that they were actively engaged in conflicts where they were just as likely to die as to come back home.

One of my favorite activities is to listen to the stories of these great aviators who paved the way for the rest of us.  They have stories of courage and strength that my generation can’t begin to comprehend.

For a long time I have thought about how I could possibly honor them, or at the very least ensure that their memory is not lost.  There are thousands of these great men and women out there, and every day we lose more of them, and unfortunately many of their stories are lost with them.

I haven’t yet determined exactly how I will do it, but my goal is to archive as much of this history as possible in one place online so that others may be inspired by their story.  I want to collect stories, pictures, videos, anything that adds to the legacy of these amazing aviators.

I really want to collect the history of aviators from all of the major conflicts, as well as the minor ones.  I realize many of these great men and women have already died, but I am hoping their family or friends will be able to share their stories as well.  I want to collect as much information as possible including campaigns, battles, awards earned, and the other people that were there.

If you have something to contribute, I would love to hear about it in the comments with some way to contact you to collect more information.  The level of content I want to collect will take a lot more than a short comment, but it is at least a start.  I would also love to hear ideas of how I can make this venture successful so that we save as much of this history as possible.

Every single one of these people deserve to have their stories preserved.  It is not just the famous people who made a difference, but all of them.  Please help me to ensure their memory is never forgotten.

May 28, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.