Male Plane with Chuck Yeager, Barron Hilton, Carroll Shelby

August 17th, 2013

One of my first trips to a big air show, many years ago, GCY was flying Make A Wish kids in a Tri-Motor. The last wish of these kids, whose prognosis is less than a year, was to fly with Chuck Yeager.

There were 8 -10 kids, General Yeager and a co-pilot.

While General was off flying these kids; Barron Hilton and Carroll Shelby, good friends, had driven up to wait for Gen Yeager to return to say hello.

It was very, I mean very, hot. I knocked on the car window and asked if I might sit in the back in the air conditioning while they waited.


As I sat in the back, these two guys, both experienced pilots, conversed about the airplanes. I sure enjoyed listening and learning. And then….I couldn’t help myself.

A smaller plane had just landed and was taxiing in to just next to where we were parked.

BH: Isn’t that a mail plane?

CS: Yes, I think so.

BH: Was that about 1920?

CS: Yes, I think that’s right.


Me, piping up from the backseat, I think they forgot I was there: How do you tell the difference between a male plane and a female plane?

No laugh. Uncomfortable silent moment. I tried to disappear in the back seat. I’m not here. Thought I’ll never be allowed to sit in the a/c with these guys again…

Then I realized that both these gentlemen lived in Bel Air and were used to bimbos so they thought I was serious.

Then I realized, the silence was they were stumped on how to answer me. Or if there were male planes. We all were looking at the plane trying to see any difference. In that moment, I could see why they liked to do just guy trips.

I tried to imitate GCY: That’s a joke, son.

CS broke the ice: Oh. Heh heh.

I wasn’t sure if he was laughing in relief or at my joke.

BH has, and CS had, since gotten used to me or my humor and even laughs at it…now and then.


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