There seems to be a perennial story in soaring circles about the pilot who lands in a pasture an hour or so ahead of his crew, and removes the wings and tail by himself to occupy his time and facilitate recovery. Just as he completes the dismantling, the landowner makes the scene, shakes his head, and says, "Good Lord, man, you were lucky to walk away from that one."
This time our boy, Gleb, didn't make it. As we were passing south through Cedar Bluffs, he told us over the radio that he was landing in a hayfield five miles north of Oberlin. He gave us an exact description of the barn and crossroads he was using as a fix. Fracturing a couple of speed limits, we made all haste to the spot. No Gleb. We stopped, had a beer, and noted that the car was boiling.
"You know," said Ruth, "Gleb always was a casual navigator. I'll bet he's five miles north of Cedar Bluffs instead of Oberlin."
Harvey seemed to remember a barn and crossroads at that location, so we tore back that way.
"90 X ray, 90 X ray, are you still in the air, by any chance?" Ruth asked the microphone.
"Of course I'm still in the air," her husband snarled back, loud and clear. "Where have you been?"
"Never mind us," she said sweetly, "just say again where you are."
"Why, I'm five miles south of Cedar Bluffs, where I said. There's a barn and a crossroads...."
"We're on our way, 90 X ray."
We got there and thought we saw him circling above, but it was someone else.