...And Here, Darn it, Are The Heartbreakers
It is both the most "fun," and most difficult task, facing the
ANN staff at the end of every year -- determining who, or what, did
the most to promote the cause of aviation in the past 365 days...
while also chastising those people or entities that did all they
could to undermine the many successes the aerospace community has
managed to accomplish.
Alas, 2007 saw more than its fair share of downers,
aviation-wise. Sure, "stuff" happens... but a few folks, issues, or
entities seemed to go out of their way to create problems for the
world of aviation.
So... it is ANN's annual obligation to recognize a solid dozen
of our Aero-Heartbreakers for 2007... in something of an informal
order, starting from 12th to the 1st. Let us know what you think of
our selections... whom YOU would have liked be included, or
omitted, from such a list. In the meantime, we hope those who had
something to do with this year's selections think a little more
positively about the welfare of this industry, so that future
lists become harder and harder to catalog. Be it ignorance,
arrogance or just plain incompetence, these were the folks or
topics that made our lot a whole lot more difficult and
immeasurably injured the aviation world in the past year.
Shame on those issues, folks or topics that made our lot so much
tougher in 2007...
From the Heartbreaker's List #1: The Disappearance of Steve
A hero's passing deserves a certain amount of reverence and
respect -- it should be a time for the celebration of all the good
things that their life meant to so many and a reaffirmation of all
that is good and right about a celebrated person's life. But...
fate played a cruel joke on adventurer and world record flyer Steve
Fossett, who one day ventured out a routine flight similar to
hundreds, maybe thousands, of others that were flown that very
day... and simply vanished into history.
There was an amazing search... both for the numbers that flocked
to find this historic flyer, as well as for the intensity and
technology brought to bear (some of which was very new... and will
be used in the future, no doubt to save other's lives). For weeks,
the world hoped, and then world just wanted answers... though they
are yet to come.
It was an ignoble end (for the moment) for a man who lived his
life tearing down absolutes and proving to the world that there
lies so very much adventure near and above cloud base.
Someday (soon, we hope), a hiker or some other soul journeying
through the boonies will come upon Steve's aircraft and solve the
mystery that broke so many hearts last fall. When that happens,
Steve's loved ones will have some closure and hopefully, the world
will finally be able to find the proper way to remember, with
respect, the life of an extraordinary aviator who gave us some
truly super-extraordinary moments to remember.