Final Flight, Bob Lock

2016-05-04 Neighbor and Friend is Suddenly Gone

In the main, it came suddenly. Tim & I had talked with him in the morning before he went to see his wife who was in the hospital, recovering from back surgery. Little did we know that would be our last conversation.

A growing blockage in his heart was wreaking havok on his heart, accumulating damage in a way that made Bob more and more tired. It apparently culminated in a massive heart attack that nearly did him in right there. But they got a couple stents in and explained that it would be only temporary; a machine was hooked up to take over. He wouldn't come off that machine without surgery and the surgery had a low probability of success with a long recovery period.

He said no.

His final moments were with loved ones and friends. With full control of his faculties he chose to turn off life support equipment knowing that, within 20 minutes, it  would be over. And so it was.

One week prior to this he was taxi testing a 450 hp Stearman down the grass runway in front of his house, tweaking the engine to make sure it would pass its annual inspection then underway. He started feeling weak, though, over the last weak, complaining about generally not feeling well.

After it happened he had no intention of  living on life support or in a degraded state, probably the consequence of living life so fully for so long. He said there should be no funeral, rather there should be a party, with beer and food on him. And so it was.

It was sad and kinda weird being in that hangar, with all his handiwork so visibly sprawled about, the evidence of a passion expressed. I had watched and photographed his welding at the table in back. Some of his latest efforts were still enshrined in the temporary cardboard that was to help placing more parts to the 2nd Command Aire. It was a life taken that had much more in mind to do.

Life is short. Live it well. Live it today. And love it.


Bob gives one of his neighbors a ride in the Command Aire that he built.


A hangar full of people with his wife, Sandy to the left, sitting, and Fantasy of Flight owner Kermit Weeks in the foreground. Longtime paramotor pilots may remember Bob as the pilot who flew rides at Fantasy during both Parastars conventions.

© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!