Like most newly minted private pilots, when I earned my wings back in 1983, I took the members of my family for a flight, and then flew with most of my friends. There was nothing like sharing with others the joy, the thrill, and the beauty of seeing our world from those lofty heights. However, other things in life got in the way of my new hobby, like it does for so many others.
The costs associated with aviation can become excessive, and unless you use aviation for personal or business travel, or you begin working on an additional rating, or you purchase your own airplane and just buzz around he skies for fun, a new pilot can become inactive long before she/he has acquired enough experience to be proficient.
I was in my freshman year of college when I received my private pilot certificate. Between my activities with Civil Air Patrol, the difficult classes of my first year in college, and a necessary transfer to another university, my time and financial ability to fly once a week, or even every two weeks diminished. By early spring of 1984, after only a few months after earning my wings, I was no longer current, nor was I proficient. School was difficult, my finances were all going to support my education, and I was attending a college that was nearly 100 miles away from my home airport in Morristown, TN. In 1984, I reluctantly hung up my wings, and I did not fly again until thirteen years later in the fall of 1997
In my next post, I will share with you, how my attendance at an airshow, a birthday gift from a loving spouse, and the patience of a flight instructor in a neighboring village in Illinois, brought me back to aviation. Since that time, I have not only flown for pleasure, but I now teach others how to experience this amazing sport, this incredible past-time, and this unexpected avocation.
Stay tuned, Eric+