My social media circles might have noticed this week that I have returned to the aviation hobby after a 20-year hiatus.
I always wanted to be a pilot. I became a licensed private pilot May 1, 1993, just short of 30 years ago.
I flew a lot in the 1990s, when the hobby was less expensive. My wife (then, girlfriend) Abby and I flew together in the spring of 2003. By then, the local aviation community had become less active, and there weren’t really any airplanes to rent here. She and I rented airplanes at Shawnee.
One of the reasons I am flying again now is that thanks to Ada Wings, there are three aircraft that live here at Ada to rent.
There are some myths about flying as a private pilot that I should dispel. It’s very safe. We’re not test pilots or daredevils, and the airplanes we fly are airworthy. One thing that keeps us safe is our respect for the weather, which most non-pilots don’t really understand. We don’t have airliners. Most private pilots like me fly close to home because it’s fun. We can’t jet up to Nova Scotia in a couple of hours. We fly for fun, and for the challenge of becoming better pilots.
Monday I flew with Ada Wings’ flight instructor Zach Burkhead, who gave me my first flight review in 21 years. Everything came back to me pretty quickly, but I still feel like I should sharpen my skills. My landings were sloppy, but that’s to be expected with dormant muscle memory.
The two aircraft I flew Monday were a straight-tail Cessna 150, and a Cessna 172.
Burkhead signed me off for two years, and checked me out to rent their airplanes.
If you’ve ever dreamed you would like to learn to fly, make it happen. I did, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.