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Must Work to Fly…

23 Apr

It’s great to have my private pilot certificate and think about all the places I want to fly to and who I want to take with me.  Reality is that it costs money to fly and I have spent a lot of it learning how to fly and now its time to earn some money so I can once again fly.  This past week since passing my checkride I have worked everyday and will tomorrow but I hope to take one afternoon off this next week to take my parents on a short flight to Alexandria, Minnesota.

My job affords my a lot of thinking time as I am working.   Yesterday I spent 3 hours inside an 2008 Chevrolet Malibu removing window tint.  My mind kept wandering to the various flights that I have had over the past year and a half.  The highlight of my training was my solo cross-country from St. Cloud, Minnesota to Duluth, Minnesota.  It was a beautiful flight to Duluth and home again and one I would like to take again.  It was also bittersweet because I took the flight on November 18 which was a good friend’s birthday.  Joyce died from cancer October 6, 2003.  Joyce would have been one of the first  I would have loved to share flying with.  Each fall Joyce and I and other friends would take off a day of work and go to as many antique shops as we could in one day.  I wasn’t much into antiques but Joyce had her collections and it was just fun wandering in and out of shops with her.  One of our trips was to Duluth.  Joyce had never been to Duluth before and it was fun showing her the city.  She was my first friend in Upsala when I moved there in 1983.  We used to have coffee at the local cafe every morning and then go our separate ways to clean our homes and anything else on our to do lists. 

Today as I was buffing an 2008 Hyundai Elantra another flight that I enjoyed came to mind.  It was my first dual cross-country to Alexandria.  My CFI and I had spent months in the traffic pattern trying to teach me how to land the plane.  Finally we took a flight away from St. Cloud to Alexandria.  It was the first time I landed a plane at another airport and it was exciting.  Chandler Field in Alexandria is a non-towered airport so it was my first time self announcing my position and intentions.  What was amazing is all the radio traffic you could here on one frequency.  I suddenly realized why you needed to say the name of the airport when announcing because there are many airports that use the same frequency even though the airports are miles apart.  It was so the aircraft in the vicinity of the airport I was landing at would know that I was talking about that airport.

Tomorrow while I am at work my mind will probably reflect on last Saturday’s checkride flight.  I will play the morning over in my mind and once again think   “I can’t believe that I actually learned to fly a plane and pass the checkride!” I am already thinking about when I should get checked out in a 172 so I can take more than one person with me at a time.  Next I want to start studying for instrument training.  I liked doing the hoodwork with my instructor and even though I wouldn’t plan on flying in the clouds I think for safety it would be the next logical step in flying.

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