My pal Fighter Pilot Pundit wrote to tell me that his friend Kelly Hinz was one of the Marine pilots killed in the recent midair collision over Iraq. FPP was also friends with Kelly’s Dad, Don Hinz who died last year. Hinz collected and restored antique warbirds. As FPP tells it the elder Hinz “crashed his P-51 Mustang (experiencing an engine failure), in a vacant lot to avoid houses. Rather than dissipate energy by gliding to a safe landing speed, the trajectory of which would have put him in a residential neighborhood, he put the Mustang on the ground hot, and no one was hurt but him.” When he died he had two sons in the Marines flying F-18s.
FPP says “The only good news here is that Don and Kelly fly together again.” He asks: “Please pray for the Hinz family which has sacrificed so much for our America and for the freedom of Iraq.” I pass that request on, and not just for the Hinz family, but all who have lost their lives or been injured in this war, and their families.