Saturday, January 10, 2009

Clear Skies & Tailwinds, Captain Barry

I've been thinking about Captain Carl Barry ever since I heard the news two weeks ago. I had only flown with Carl a few times when I was an FO, but we ran into each other quite a few times since and he always stopped to chat. Carl was one of those people who loved to talk and seemed to befriend everyone he met. He had a thousand-watt grin that was on display more often than not, and you wouldn't guess that he had a tough two-leg commute from Syracuse NY with one very young child and another on the way and a wife who was pretty unhappy about the situation. The last time I talked to Carl was the week before Christmas; he called me and offered to pick up a day trip I had posted on the tradeboard for December 28th. He was pretty bummed that he would be flying over Christmas without enough time between trips to go home, and figured he'd rather fly than sit in his crashpad. I thanked him profusely; I had picked up the trip accidentally, it interfered with a family Christmas function, and I had tried to trade it away without success.

Carl never flew the trip. On the night of the 27th, he collapsed and died of a heart attack while working out at a gym near his crashpad in Minneapolis. Carl was young and in top shape; he was actually training for a triathalon. I found out the news the next morning via a thread on Airline Pilot Forums, which quickly turned into a tribute to Carl from many people who knew him at NewCo and his former company, Air Midwest. Reading the comments there is an inspiration to live and treat others in such a way that I'll be similarly remembered when my time comes.

I've never solicited money for my writing on this blog or placed advertising or even a tip jar on it. That said, if you find value in what you read here and think its worth a few dollars, I'd encourage you to donate to the memorial fund that has been set up for Carl's young son and still-unborn child. Checks may be sent to:

Wings Financial Credit Union
Carl Barry Benefit Account (ID #0001156737)
14985 Glazier Ave, Suite 100
Apple Valley, MN 55124-6539


Anonymous said...

Man, talk about feeling somber after reading that blog entry. How sad to see somebody so young with a bright future and a great attitude taken from us.

RIP Captain Barry

Mark said...

That is very sad news indeed,especially considering the time of year. His family will be in my thoughts and prayers

Traytable said...

That's so sad. It seems we are losing too many too soon this year. I farewelled a former colleague only days before Christmas, in a similar fashion seeing how many people were touched by his attitude for life and care for others makes me want to be remembered in the same way.

Thoughts to you and all of Barry's family and flying friends.

Tzvia said...

I'm so sad. I don't know what to say. I've known Carl for over 10 years. We even dated briefly in Nantucket, over 11 years ago. We've always kept in touch. We talked about our marriages, school, and life. He will be missed. He was the most upbeat person I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.