By Len A.Hynds

The husband of one of my detective’s, became a friend, a young man full of life, loving fast cars and surprised me when he said he was taking flying lessons.

I had always been wary of flying, and my experience was of only two return flights, once to go to Aberdeen to arrest somebody and to bring him back to London to be charged. The plane on that occasion was a twin prop, petrol engine plane which had the dreadful habit of making you feel that you were dropping in an express lift quite frequently. That did nothing for my confidence. The prisoner to whom I was handcuffed was most sympathetic. The second occasion was when I felt so ashamed of my fear that I at last agreed to go on holiday to Tenerife, but even though it was by a modern jet-powered liner, the fear was still there, I was stone cold sober at the end of the flight there, although I had drunk many, many whiskeys.

So my friend, young Keith Buck bought himself a beautiful light plane, when he got his licence, and was constantly asking me to go for a flight with him, but the fear was still there.

He decided to fly to the car racing at Le Mans in France, and eventually talked me into going for the week-end. It was just one week before we were due to set out that I woke up one night after a nightmare dream.

I had been in a light plane and we were crashing into the sea, I had woken up in a sweat of fear Guardian Angel before we actually struck. I got up, checked on Tilly, my wife in the next room, and made myself a cup of tea.

I couldn’t get back to sleep, so did some typing, and on finishing re-read it, and was angry at myself at the mistakes, as every word ‘no‘ had been typed in capitals.

I told Keith the following day that I would be unable to go, making some foolish excuse, which I am sure he could see through, so I told him of my dream and asked him to cancel the flight. He laughed at my foolishness and said somebody else had asked if he could be considered in case I pulled out.

They went, and on the Sunday morning, Rosemary phoned me to say they were overdue at Lydd airport.

It transpired that they crashed into the sea, and were never found.