Do you just use first initial and last name like they do at work, or is there something deeper?

Back in October of 1989 I was on a family vacation to Maui. I decided to spend the day doing some photography in Honolulu, so I took a taxi over to the local airport and hopped on board a little inter island commuter flight on one of my favorite aircraft, the De Havilland Canada DHC-6. As it turned out, all of my flights on that day were on the same aircraft, the one pictured above, N707PV, and I took it as some sort of sign. The ‘707' part was honestly nothing more than the fact that this was the 7th aircraft in the fleet. The ‘PV’ part came from Princeville Airways, the airline that eventually became Aloha Island Air. It didn’t hurt that the number ‘707' is legendary in the aviation world, and so this became ‘my’ plane.

A few days later a rather inexperienced pilot flew this very aircraft into IMC (instrument meteorological conditions) whilst on a VFR flight and crashed into the side of a mountain on Molokai. ‘Damaged beyond repair’ is what the official NTSB report says about the fate of this particular aircraft. Yeah, a splat into the side of a cliff at cruising speed will cause a bit of damage, perhaps some that isn’t repairable. Had I waited a little while to take this day trip that might have been me on the final flight.

Ever since then I’ve used N707PV as my email account name as a reminder of what happened 27 years ago. It also reminds me that things can happen that are beyond our control and not to forget that any minute may turn out to be our last.