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several hours of vigilance, I finally cleared that system in the North Atlantic and was enjoying a lively conversation with the pilots of the heavies above when the North Star appeared off my left wing. I was chatting with the crew of a Delta flight when all of a sudden I saw a bright red/orange light at two o’clock - same altitude. It was a weird triangular shape and I immediately thought it was traffic, and mentioned this to my new pals up above. I was about to alter course, when they laughed and said it was probably the Moon. From their lofty ‘big boy’ vantage point the moon was unobstructed while little brother was five miles below pedaling along as fast as I could on my little trike trying to keep up! Gradually the triangle morphed out of the clouds and grew into a bright half moon. It was beautiful! The stars were shining; Polaris was on my left wing and the Moon on my right. I was

cradled in the same sky that carried my Grandfather across the ocean. At this point in my story, my fireside companions complained that I was laying it on a bit thick – which I was. After all, I had a sausage and beer and campfire license to lay it on thick. But, not wanting to lose them and suffer through one of their lame stories I continued. The airline pilots flying above me were asking me all about the Lancair. What size engine? How fast? How much fuel? What kind of equipment? They were pretty excited that I was way down below them somewhere in my tiny four seat piston powered aircraft. I wasn’t really that interested in their engines or fuel or speed, so I asked them if they had a passenger by the name of Peter Diamandis onboard. Peter had watched my take-off at Republic Field on Long Island and was trying to beat

me to Paris. And he had my baggage! American 44 radioed back and said “We have a Mr. Diamandis onboard. What would you like us to do?” It was the middle of the night, but I asked them to wake him up anyway and tell him I was down here talking to them. They came back on the radio a few minutes later and told me they went to his seat and woke him up, but it was some other guy! They didn’t know where he was so they said they would make an announcement for him when everyone was waking up as they were beginning the approach. Upon Arrival, Peter managed to persuade the pilots to come out to Le Bourget field for my landing. It was really great to meet them. They were so excited they gave me a pair of those little plastic American Airlines wings for my flight suit. Hmmm - at least the Delta pilots offered to buy me a round at the James Joyce…

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