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rsrandazzo

Clay Dopke passes...

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Captains-A short time ago, we learned that Clay Dopke passed away this morning. For those who do not know Clay, he has been an active member of this forum, but also an active member of the PMDG Beta Test Team for a number of years.He came to be known to us for his critical eye, his criticism, his candor and best of all for his sense of humor as he helped us to shape our products and the direction of our development.As a fellow pilot, I had a number of private email conversations with Clay discussing the finer points of flying, risk management, pilot stressors, and crew mistakes. I never flew with him, but I have no doubt it would have been fun to do so. Clay was obviously "one of the good guys."The PMDG Beta team has very low turnover- and it is rare that we find ourselves losing a member under any circumstances. These are the least enviable of circumstances, but I hope that all of us can reflect upon the good fortune we had in Clay's participation here.I will copy the remarks placed on AVSim's main page here, as I think they sum up the news as best can be...This morning, Clay Dopke, also known here as B52drivr, passed away.Air Force Major (ret.) Clayton Dopke flew B52s in Vietnam and later went on to fly B727s for the U.S. Government. Clay was also an avid car buff and owned a Porsche repair shop and loved fixing them as he loved racing them. Clay eventually settled down in Mississippi where he owned a horse farm and raised and sold horses. He lived a quiet life and was in the process of writing a novel "No Sympathy for the Devil."Clay loved flight simming and being a part of this community where he was very active on these forums and as a subject matter expert to multiple 3rd party developers. He was seldom seen around lately due to his ill health. Clay passed away this morning after a long battle with lung disease. His wife Kathy informed his close friends that he boarded his last flight that took him on a flight plan that we cannot follow. He is survived by his wife and loving children. His funeral arrangements are not yet made but if you wish to pass on condolences to his family please email Michael Toussaint.Clay, you are cleared for takeoff, direct at pilot's descretion, no speed restrictions, winds calm. Good Day. We will miss you. On a personal note, from all of us at PMDG, my hat is off. Tonight is a sad night.

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Very sorry to hear that Robert.That's a very nice write up and he sounds like a very respectful individual, I wish I knew him. I have had the misfortune of attending a lot of funerals and the only thing I can say in sad times like this is to remember to not just mourn his death, but to celebrate his life. He's in a better place and won't ever suffer again.My respects.

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Indeed Dan, I know from the many times I talked to him through MSN and on our beta list that he wouldn't want it any other way. He had a ton of amazing stories from all his aviation adventures, some were so crazy he couldn't have possibly made them up. The man was a character in every sense of the word and he will be greatly missed here.

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I am sorry to hear of his passing. It is ashame when a fellow service member, and a fellow member of the aviation community passes. May he rest in peace. Lung disease is a terrible, terrible thing. 3 family members of mine have died due to lung diseases in recent years. I wish it on no one.

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I'm sorry to hear that - although I never knew him personally, A death is a sad thing.The Summary is a very respectful summary, and after reading that I wish I had knew him.May he rest in piece.

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"he boarded his last flight that took him on a flight plan that we cannot follow"Very nicely put... Rest in peace Mr. Dopke...

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Flyer's Prayer

When this life I'm in is done,And at the gates I stand,My hope is that I answer allHis questions on command.I doubt He'll ask me of my fame,Or all the things I knew, Instead,He'll ask of rainbows sentOn rainy days I flew.The hours logged, the status reached,The ratings will not matter.He'll ask me if I saw the raysAnd how He made them scatter.Or what about the droplets clear,I spread across your screen?And did you see the twinkling eyes.If student pilots keen?The way your heart jumped in your chest,That special solo day-Did you take time to thank the oneWho fell along the way?Remember how the runway lightsLooked one night long agoWhen you were lost and found your way,And how-you still dont know?How fast, how far, how much, how high?He'll ask me not these thingsBut did I take the time to watchThe Moonbeams wash my wings?And did you see the patchwork fieldsAnd moutains I did mould;The mirrored lakes and velvet hills,Of these did I behold?The wind he flung along my wings,On final almost stalled.And did I know I it was His name,That I so fearfully called?And when the goals are reached at last,When all the flyings done,I'll answer Him with no regret-Indeed, I had some fun.So when these things are asked of me,And I can reach no higher,My prayer this day - His hand extendsTo welcome home a Flyer.Patrick J. PhillipsI will be saying a prayer tonight before i sleep that your soul find a place in peace and harmony, God bless you Captain...-Dan Parker

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i think for somone like clay a special livery for the 747 or MD11 should be created. Never new him but wish i did "Virtual Salute to Clay". Rest in peace always sad when a death occurs.

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Guest BlueRidgeDx

I'm so saddened to hear the news about Clay.I am lucky to have known him, albeit relatively briefly. Clay shared much in common with my late father, and he lent me an understanding ear on more than a few occasions. For that, I will be eternally greatful. He put on a brave face and soldiered on despite his frequent discomfort as a result of his ongoing battle with cancer. So much so that, judging by his attitude, I assumed he was beating it handily.Clay was a patriot, hero, and all-around great guy. I hope that he is resting comfortably, and that his family is comforted by love and prayers of those whose lives he touched.Godspeed, brother.

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Major Dopke, from one Airman to another i salute you as you make your final flight.Fading light dims the sightAnd a star gems the sky, gleaming brightFrom afar drawing nigh,Falls the night.Day is done, gone the sunFrom the lakes, from the hills, from the skiesAll is well, safely rest;God is nigh.Then goodnight, peaceful night;Till the light of the dawn shineth bright.God is near, do not fear,Friend, goodnight

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A sad day indeed. You will be missed Clay.... A fellow B-52 buddy, and USAF aviator. I will miss the long conversations, B-52, and old Boeing flying shop talk via IM. So many lessons to learn...PMDG, and indeed this hobby as whole lost a 'good guy'.-Jason PetersC-37A Flight EngineerFormer B-52H Crew Chief, E-3B/C AWACS Instructor Flight Engineer

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Guest acezboy561

Very upsetting to hear, RIP Mate.

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Guest

Clay was a wonderful guy and will sorely missed here at the forum. May he rest in peace.No more b52driver...Darryl

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"Old pilots never die - they only clear the storm" goes a saying I heard somewhere. Blue Skies, B52Driver. Fare thee well.

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I never knew him but always felt as though I did.Reading his valued comments and assistance was always appreciated.He is now 'out of pain' and back flying in the spirit world. I feel privileged to have known him, even if only through 'flight sim forums'.

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