Crazy For The Storm – Norman Ollestad


Do you ever wonder if you were 11yrs old, what type of determination you would have if you were in a plane crash with your father and his girlfriend, and you realized that you needed to get out of the situation you are in before you either froze to death or died from your injuries?

In this thrilling and somewhat unbelievable memoir of insurmountable circumstances, this 11 yr old did have the determination, and the resilience to be able to do just that.

Norman was always into sports. From the time he was 3 he played hockey, skied, and surfed with his father in the forefront making him do things that he was afraid of, all the while all Norman wanted to do was play with his friends – riding bikes, playing ball, skateboarding, and going to birthday parties.

When he had accomplished those goals by his father “pushing”him, he gained valuable lessons to prepare him for what was unexpected, and would ultimately save his life.

Norman’s parents were divorced. His father had a girlfriend, and his mother had a boyfriend, and with those dynamics at times he was divided on some aspects of his life. But the day that his father and girlfriend would take off on a Cessna plane would forever change all of that.

Norman had just won a junior championship of skiing, and his father wanted him to go and play with his hockey team. So, being in 2 places at once or at least driving to both of them was out of the question, so his father had gotten a plane and pilot, and they were on their way to go and play hockey, then fly back to get his trophy the next day.

As they are flying, it was quite cloudy and dense with fog, and although the pilot assured them all that it was safe to fly, it felt as though they had doubts. At one point Norman noticed branches sliding against the plane, not really something that you would see when you are thousands of feet in the air and dismissed it. But then he had seen branches again, and all of a sudden they had crashed into a mountain, and sadly nothing would ever be the same again.

Fighting to stay conscious, and get out of the plane to be able to find help, this 11 yr old had shown amazing instincts and determination to find help and to live. Even knowing that the pilot, his father and soon to be father’s girlfriend were already dead or dying, he still forged ahead and did the unthinkable – survived.

Poignant, heartbreaking, full of courage, as well as full of the life lessons Norman learned from his father that any child should be instilled with, it gives pause and gratitude that anything is possible with determination and belief that anything can be achieved.


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5 thoughts on “Crazy For The Storm – Norman Ollestad

  1. Isn't it crazy? (so to speak) I had trouble the whole time I was reading it, thinking, okay, this person is ELEVEN. Really amazing. And horrible about the pilot.

    Good review!

  2. TY! and I totally agree with you.

    I just hope that I will be able to instill some of those lessons that his father taught him.

    Just AWE struck that at that age he could just talk himself thorugh something so horrible and scary and live to tell about it.

  3. Pingback: End of The Year Post 2009 « Serendipitous Readings

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