We Hear The Strangest Things


You dropped what from 6,500 feet? We were able late last week to speak with an individual who makes this story from AirVenture complete. During an AVweb “Meet the Editor” session at Oshkosh this year, pilot Ray Walker approached with, “Man, have I got a story for you!” … and so it began. Ray was flying his float-equipped ACA Scout at 6,500 feet (and a blistering 100 mph) out of Texas for Oshkosh when the unusual struck. Ray’s wife was “asleep in back” when suddenly a window popped open. In the brief mayhem that followed, Ray successfully convinced his wife (who temporarily lost her headset) they were not crashing, but also lost his cellphone, forever … or so he thought. More than a mile below in the remote corner where Missouri meets Illinois and Iowa lay the town of Peaksville, Mo. Population: 20. Fortunately for all, one of its residents is 68-year-old George Gilbert. On a freshly mowed lawn, Gilbert walked between his home and a trailer, and there it was. “We just got through mowing and everything … the phone looked like it just fell out of someone’s pocket,” George’s son Ray told AVweb last week. The senior Gilbert brought the phone to the house, thinking it belonged to a family member. Though none recognized it, a family member did have an appropriate charger. Soon Walker’s father was found in the phone’s contact list and phoned, then Ray. The Gilberts sent the (still in tact and working) phone off for $14.40. The Walkers responded with a check for $50, an invitation to visit them in Texas, and their blessings. At Oshkosh, Ray Walker joked, “I drop the thing on the table and the battery goes one way, the phone, another. But from 6,500…” For the Gilbert family, “It’s been an exciting thing,” Ray Gilbert’s son George told us. “It blew our minds.” Special thanks to Ray Walker and Ray Gilbert for taking the time to share the story.