Puddle Jumper


It was the first time I had ever flown on what some people call a “Puddle Jumper,” a small propeller-driven passenger aircraft. The planes size didn’t bother me as I had flown with my Uncle in a much smaller two-passenger aircraft before.

There were five people aboard the craft; the pilot, co-pilot, a couple and myself.

We left Denver right on time and I leaned back and allowed myself to drift off into sleep. I have no idea how long the flight was, but I do know that I was awakened by severe turbulence.

My mind was still foggy when I heard the pilot say we’re less than five minutes from Wyoming’s capitol. He added that there were strong winds and the flight would be rough for the rest of the way.

There would be no more sleeping for me as I leaned into the aisle, looking if I could see anything ahead of us. I couldn’t see anything, so contented myself with looking out the window to my right.

The craft flew over a series of barbed-wire fences as we made our final approach. That was really the last thing I saw before came to a violent and abrupt stop.

There was no warning, no shouting or screaming as the crash happened so suddenly. We’d learn later that the aircraft was flipped over on its back by a gust of wind about one-hundred feet from the end of the runway.

Everyone walked away without injury.

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