Of all the reasons people have to attend the AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in here at Antique Airfield perhaps one of the biggest is the ability to totally immerse oneself into the world of antique & classic aircraft. It is a way to put the challenges and problems of the "outside" world away for a few days. The fly-in is spent enjoying the aircraft as well as the company of other like minded individuals and one might never know what that person you're talking with does to live, thrive and survive in the real world.
Suffice it to say that we have a very diverse and interesting cross section of people from all walks of life within the membership of the AAA and many are involved in aviation as a vocation (or a part thereof) as well as an avocation.
So it is with A.J. Stricker from Holts Summit, MO. A.J. can often be seen out flying his Ercoupe during the AAA/APM Fly-in with his ever-present American flag waving from the cockpit. However you might not know that A.J. was also a member of and pilot for the Missouri State Highway Patrol for twenty nine years.
Following then is a story of a harrowing and dangerous flight that found A.J. and his fellow officers in harm's way:
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It was around mid-morning, when an officer came thru the door of the office, and advised me the bank at Ashland had just been hit, and they had killed the bank president. I immediately made it to my patrol car, and with everything I had, and took off for the airport, to get our helicopter, N90MP into the air. I did not wait for another officer to go with me, because in many times past, waiting could mean the difference in apprehending the asshole, or making a positive outcome in the manhunt.