Wings Overhead

02 Sep

I love going out to the airport.  On Tuesday while I was attending a seminar at the airport I was distracted.  I took a seat near the window in the terminal and found myself watching the take offs and landings at the airport and only half listening to the seminar.  Oh how I longed to be up flying that afternoon but my work schedule didn’t allow for it prior to the seminar.

Back when I was taking lessons one of my favorite things to do was to arrive early for my lesson and just watch others taking off and landing in the pattern.  I wish there would have been a bench parked near the GA ramp so I could sit and watch.  Most of the time I stood leaning on the corner of the hangar and watched until it was time to pre-flight the plane. 

I would try to imagine what the instructor was telling their students on final and as they stopped on the runway prior to taking off again.  Were they being told not to flare too high?  Watch your airspeed on final the next trip around or was it the day that they finally did everything just right and were told to go to the ramp to drop off the CFI so they could take it up solo.

Last evening I was sad when I read that SCSU was considering cutting the aviation program at the college.  They haven’t cut it yet, but it’s on the block.  The aviation students make the airport such a fun place to be.  They bring a level of excitement and anticipation to the flight school.  I love hearing the chatter between the students and the CFI’s.  They are always talking about what’s next for them.  I can’t help but wonder what they are thinking now.  Probably the same question “What’s next?  but likely not thinking about their next rating but where do they go from here if the aviation program is cut.  I can’t imagine having to change colleges once you’ve started with one college.

My CFI was a graduate from SCSU along with most of the other flight instructors.  I don’t know what will become of the flight school if the aviation program is cut.  That is where they get their CFI’s from.  The St. Cloud Regional Airport took a hit when Mesaba pulled its planes from St. Cloud.  They are in the process of trying to get another carrier to come in.  Possibly one with runs to Chicago but the timing couldn’t be worse with the announcement from SCSU about a possible cut.

The trips to the airport aren’t quite the same anymore.  There’s nothing like hearing on the radio “N4872B you’re number two behind the Mesaba” and wondering just what it was your CFI told you about wake turbulence and where you should land.  It gets the adrenaline pumping that’s for sure or taxiing down to the runway and looking behind you to see a Mesaba following you on the taxiway.  You feel rather small and insignificant with them behind you when you are in a 152.

Someone had a plan for an airport and envisioned “Wings Overhead”  and I am thankful for them pursuing their dream.


Posted by on September 2, 2010 in Flight training


Tags: , ,

4 responses to “Wings Overhead

  1. Thomas Stazyk

    September 4, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Really sad about the school– way too much of that going on lately.

    I know what you mean about being at the airport. They used to have an open field across the road from Cleveland airport and you could park there and watch the planes take off and land–they flew right over and would either be taking off or landing depending on the wind. These were mostly 737 type planes with an occasional DC-10. They looked like they were coming right at you!

  2. flyinggma

    September 4, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Hopefully they will find a way to keep it funded and open. I don’t know how soon it would be cut if they decide to cut the program. One of their complaints is that they fly too old of a fleet in the school’s program. But I think you learn to fly best without all the bells and whistles. You can always add them in later once you learn how to fly.

  3. Joe Clark

    September 9, 2010 at 5:34 am


    You say, “But I think you learn to fly best without all the bells and whistles. You can always add them in later once you learn how to fly.”

    I say, “You are wise well beyond your experience.” Which leads me to the conclusion you will become an excellent CFI yourself.


    • flyinggma

      September 9, 2010 at 6:58 am

      Thanks Joe for the encouragement. I live 45 miles from the airport and there aren’t any pilots in our small town to discuss my love of flying.


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