Cap-m’ Jack

Apr 19th, 2013 | By | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog

I introduced readers to aviation on Valentine’s Day and later told you about flying commercial airliners upside down just like Captain Whittaker. Well, to round this all out, the following is a story about how I came to be called “Cap-m’ Jack” by family and friends.

I was flying a single engine Mooney traveling seven states with an occasional trip to Chattanooga and/or either coast. My mentor Herb Wright and his buddy Glen Duncan were partners in a light twin that had conked out on Glen during a trip to the Bahamas so he left it in Ft. Lauderdale. With partner Herb, they asked me for a ride to Florida and, having just earned my instrument ticket, I was ready for the experience.

We left Texas early one spring morning in good weather but filed IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) to Montgomery, Ala., where we had planned to stop for fuel and a stretch. However, along the way my two passengers were constantly chipping their teeth with recommendations about flying the plane and dealing with the FAA controllers along the way. As we approached Montgomery, the en route controller handed us off to the airport tower, which immediately cleared us to land, but we were still at our approach altitude which was about 5,000 feet above the airport. Almost like a duet, both guys told me to advise the tower that I would first circle the field in order to lose excess altitude before landing. And, that did it — enough was enough. I told my two freeloading friends to ”Shut up, tighten your seat belts because Cap-m’ Jack is in control and we are going to land and I mean NOW.” Without circling I made a dive for the airport and landed just a little “hot” on the main runway. It was a good landing that probably took a year or so off my main tires.

Later in Florida, one of them registered us at an airport motel as the three-man flight crew of a commercial 727 with my name as Cap-m’ Jack Schrock. From then on, the handle stuck and Joan even had a shirt monogrammed with my title and name but, better yet, my son Joel still calls me Cap-m’ Jack, though I’m sure he’s long forgotten why.

What’s this got to do with T & R? Well, I had several customers and four distributors who flew because the distances out west are measured in time, not miles.