Flightmed archive for September-2001
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Flightmed archive for September-2001

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Goodbye to a friend

Hello List;

Today in Redding, California, we paid our final respects to Lars
Stratte.  Lars was an airtanker pilot for the California Department of
Forestry.  Last week, while attempting to extinguish a fire, Lars' plane
(Tanker Nine-Two) collided with another airtanker.  Both pilots were

While Lars was killed fighting fires, I wanted to him to be recognized
on this list.  For many years, Lars flew EMS missions in fixed wing
aircraft based in Northern California.  He was an excellent pilot and a
great guy.

The service for Lars was attended by over 500 people.  Especially moving
were the poignant words spoken by Lars' son, Ian, and a missing man
formation flown by S-2 airtanker pilots of the CDF.

In honor of Lars, I would like to post the words to the flyer's poem
"High Flight".

High Flight
By John Gillespie Magee

                 Oh I have slipped the surely bonds of earth
                 and danced the skies on laughter silvered wings.
                 Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of
sun split clouds
                 and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of,
                 wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit

                 Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind aloft
                 and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

                 Up up the long delirious burning blue,
                 I've topped the wind swept heights with easy grace
                 where neither lark nor eagle flew.

                 And there with silent lifting mind
                 I've trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space
                 Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Lars Stratte loved to fly.  We will miss him.

Thank you,

Mike Shuken

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