Tuesday, September 14, 2010



One minute I was as free as a bird weaving through a bank of puffy clouds. The next I was scared witless, upside down, drowning in the cockpit of cockpit of a sinking airplane fast plunging to the bottom of Tampa Bay! This is it, I remember thinking, Norm boy, you’ve had it. You’re going to die!”

Today, more than 60 years later, former WW II Navy pilot Norm Galler grins when he reflects on the incident that saw him unceremoniously dunked into the Gulf of Mexico during a 1943 solo training flight in a Navy SNJ trainer. One of thousands of military pilots hurriedly taught to fly during the war, Galler still vividly recalls the emergency ditching in Tampa Bay, Florida, which very nearly put an end to his flying career. “That engine just packed up and quit cold. Miles behind me was the shore - too far to stretch the glide of the 3-ton advanced trainer - leaving no choice but to bail out or ditch. At that moment, the broad expanse of the azure blue Gulf never looked more ominous. I was going for a swim whether I like it or not.
Yep....ole "Flight Training" was not a "walk in the park" some would lead you to believe....  This article offers you some 'insight' into just what these young pilots went thru to learn what eventually became second nature to them.....and we all are grateful that they honed there flying skills well.
So...if you'd care to give this one a read...just click on this red title: ONE-A-DAY IN TAMPA BAY  and I think you'll enjoy an interesting read.