The Israeli Pilot, August 3, 2019
This happened shortly after the Beaver crashed in the Amazon when
I was working on that movie in Belem in 1990. I was still staying at
the Belem Hilton with the movie crew.
I was at the outdoor bar by the pool at the hotel and a man in his
forties showed up and introduced himself to me.
I think his name was Moshe and he was dressed in a rumpled white
linen suit. He even wore a Panama hat. He looked like he came out
of the movie “Casablanca” and he had a black eye patch to boot.
He said, “Are you the Beaver mechanic?”
“I am Moshe. The production department in LA sent me here to get
the plans for the Beaver cockpit. They need to make a mock up in
the studio to shoot some scenes after filming ends here.”
“Okay. I’ve got the manuals out at the hangar at the airport. I’ll be
happy to give them to you to copy the cockpit drawings.”
Business done. Moshe then said,
“I’m famished! I got in late last night and met your friend and fellow
mechanic John. We met some girls at the other bar here in the hotel
and three of them went back with me to my hotel room. Your friend
John declined to take any of them. (Moshe seemed upset about this.)
Well, these three women took every fluid from my body! I was at it
all night. I’m exhausted and famished. I need food.”
“Well, I recommend the fresh fish and some french fries, but the
service is kinda slow.”
“I must have food NOW!”
“Folks here don’t know the meaning of the word “Now”, it’s “Agora”
in Portuguese by the way, but good luck trying to use it to any
“I must have food!”
I called over the waiter in Portuguese and told him that my friend
here was very hungry and needed the fish and french fries as soon
I think it took at least half an hour for the food to arrive so Moshe
told me his life story. This seems to happen to me a lot. I don’t
Moshe; “I am from Israel. I was a pilot in the 1973 war and other
wars. I was shot down three times. Three times! I lost an eye, some
of this, some of that, but I love to fly! Finally they take away my
pilot’s license. I hate this very much.
So now I’m doing this bullshit work traveling around the world
looking at airplanes and not flying them.”
“Well, what was it like getting shot down in those Mideast wars?”
“It was always a surprise. Suddenly an explosion. I’d hit the ejection
seat and pray. Fortunately I always came down in friendly territory.”
Moshe’s food arrived and I gave him the manuals the next day.
Never saw him again.