The Flash

Posted July 2017

Weird one, today.

We're having major remodeling done at out house.  Starting yesterday, we're very limited as to where we can go, inside the house, due to the new wood floors being finished.  The first floor is almost uninhabitable, so I'm living upstairs.

Packed the wife off to her sister's, packed the wife's cat off to the cat hotel, packed a little refrigerator with sodas, and piled up a batch of munchees and protein bars to maintain the inner man.

Had a break in it today, where I could actually leave the house for a while and get back upstairs when I came home.  Something to eat other than a Hippy-Grain-Mocha-Oats bar and a diet Dr. Pepper.

It's 75 degrees, light wind, clear skies.  Breakfast, then fly.

Good flight.  Came back to the home drome to shoot some touch-and-goes.   Was on final for the first one, slipping hard to get rid of some altitude.

There was a tremendous white flash.

Don't know what it was.  Lasted just for an instant. My impression is that it had traversed backwards, lighting up mostly the left side of the cockpit.  Like a camera flash.

Scared the bejesus out of me.  I continued the approach and made it full-stop instead of a touch-and-go.  I taxied back to the hangar where safety-wire could re-secure my shattered nerves.  Looked at the airplane when I got out.  Nothing obvious.

My guess is that there was something on the ground strongly reflecting sunlight upwards.  I was landing to the north.  The sun is high in the sky this time of year, and this happened about 1:30 PM to the sun would have been to my left.

Don't think it was anything electrical from the aircraft (I'm an electrical engineer, THAT'S the first thing I considered).  All the radios, switches, etc are on the right side of the panel, not the left.

The only thing makes me wonder is that I heard a kind of quiet "click" when it happened.  Not sure if I imagined it, or maybe the shoulder harness clinked when I jumped.  I had ear plugs in, and my jaw dropping open might have changed them enough to cause a click.  It would have been immediately covered by my girlish scream, though.


Ron Wanttaja

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