Recently, I had the joy of receiving a rental checkout from my first private pilot student. He now flies corporate jets as a Captain, and he probably has over 8,000 hours. It was an incredible experience to fly again with my dear friend Paul Scott. The best part was the time we had before and after the flight, to reminisce about our old flying days together at Naples airport, to remember old friends, and to learn where they are today. It has been 18 years since I gave Paul his first introductory lesson in an old Cessna 172.
For my checkout with Paul, we flew an old C172M model, which felt underpowered and sluggish compared to the Cessna 182’s and C172SP’s I have been flying. It probably felt like flying a brick compared to the Phenom’s and Beech-jets Paul flies now as a Captain. Nonetheless, it was an incredible day with my dear old friend Paul. With our move to the Naples area, I will be close to my old friend again, and I hope this will not be the last time we fly together, and I am convinced it will not be the last.
What a joy it is to share the joy of aviation with friends. Paul reminded me during our flight that I had taught him to put the ignition keys on the dash, so, as we were pre-flighting the aircraft, we would know the keys were not in the ignition switch as we walked around the propeller. He reminded me of the other little lessons or “isms” I taught him nearly 20 years ago, lessons that he teaches even today. It is a gift to know that in some way, you had a part in helping someone achieve their life-long dream, and to help a flight student learn the basics of flying. In Paul’s case, he has carried into his professional flying, many of those little disciplines that I taught him back in the day. I imagine he is passing on some of those lessons to other pilots as well. Thank you Paul for a wonderful blessing the other day.