No, I haven't put him away somewhere safe and now cannot find him, nor (Thank God) is he six feet under, but he is leaving and heading South, to South Africa to be exact.
Ouen and his wife, Wi, are heading home, and their departure is more than just being about losing dear friends, it's about me losing my Wingman.
You see, Ouen and I are kindred spirits....we can wax lyrical about the planes we love, talk shite in the bar afterwards about aviation accidents, lessons learned from our previous flight, which is better....tail or nose-wheel, and about future flights and destinations we'd take together.
Sadly though, those future flights together will have to wait. One of the things Ouen did promise though was his determination to get his PPL when he returns to SA. Which means that when M and I head to SA to visit them, the four of us can putter about the skies and across the vast African bush. I made a promise in return....that when we move down to SA and live in Cape Town, we will buy a share together in this little beauty.
So my wing man is flying solo, 4,800nm South, to where the skies are almost always cerulean blue, and the $100 burgers are always interesting.
Ouen, you were the best Wingman I've ever known, and I'm going to miss you in the cockpit next to me. But I wish you and Wi the very best of luck with your move back home, and I cannot wait to get back in the cockpit with you when we meet up again soon.