Lockheed hit the sand, water and surf more smoothly than she had hoped.
Almost a perfect landing if tearing off the wheels on initial impact
and spinning around several times because a wing got caught in the sand
can be called perfect. But perfect it was until the spinning stopped
and somehow the door flew open and water started rushing in all before
she saw the boulder in front of her and slammed into it with more speed
than she thought she had maintained. Later she would remember feeling
certain, seconds before the impact, that they had come to a complete
stop. Clearly they had not. In the middle of it all she
thought, “So this is what a crash feels like,” and then decided to
never under any circumstances call this a crash because she was about to
walk away from it and that is called in any pilot’s book a good
landing. She would not walk away from this unbelievably
successful landing, though, before calling out to him, “Wake up. Get
out.” No sound. Nothing. She climbed toward the back
of the fuselage over the fuel tanks and pipes to unbuckle him and try to
pull him toward the door. The fuselage was filling with water.
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