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AIRPLANES I HAVE KNOWN AND LOVED

Well, not a lot of stuff here, yet. In the early 90s my flying became more expensive in time and money than I could afford, and was supplanted completely by motorcycles, so this page, for the time being, anyway, will be largely a historical look at my flying days.

Although I wanted to fly from an early age, when I finally got around to getting my license in 1978, it was business related - the company I worked for at the time wanted me, as a Regional Sales Manager, to be able to fly myself to the small airports near which most of our detached offices were located. Turns out that I got to do very little business flying for that company, but I did occasionally use the skill for business purposes later on. The photo below shows me getting out of the Piper Archer I flew from Little Rock to Fort Smith one afternoon back in December of 1989. I was in the insurance business at the time, and had flown to Fort Smith to meet with a friend and client. Ed took this picture when he met me at the airport.





Ed was big on shooting black and white - they actually did have color film in those days.

Unfortunately, most of the photography I did while flying is on slides. I keep saying I'm going to get some of them converted to photos and digital images so I can upload some here, but to-date, I haven't gotten around to it.

My last stint at the yoke was in April of 1993 when my good friend Siz and I went to lunch with a couple of flight instructors at Central Flying Service. We took a Bonanza A-36 to Memphis for the infamous hundred dollar hamburger on a beautiful spring day, and I was allowed to sit in the left seat. I had no complex endorsement, but with two flight instructors along, that wasn't a problem. It was a great flight, capped off on final when the Tower informed me I had an airliner on my tail and I needed either to guarantee I could make the first turn-off or abort the landing so I wouldn't make the big jet go around. I confidently said I could do it, and the instructor on my right said he hoped I could because the jet drivers get pissed if they are forced to go around for some little airplane. I put it down smoothly and easily made the first turn-off, allowing the Heavy to land as planned. As I taxied off the runway, Tower said, "Good Job!"

I had no idea at the time it would be the last time I'd fly as pilot-in-command, but it was a pretty good way to end a last flight, no?

It's funny how quickly life passes you by. You hardly notice the hours and days as they slip past, but one day you suddenly wake up and realize how much has gotten away from you. I used to want to fly as much as possible, and did, considering my meager finances and the demands of job and family. But, it's painful to look in the log book and only see about 200 hours of total flying time recorded. I was an "active" pilot for 15 years... that's not many hours per year. And, now, it hurts to think it has been a full 15 years since I've gotten behind the yoke, pushed the throttle in, and slipped the surly bonds of earth.

Do I miss flying? Oh, yeah. Quite a lot. But... time and money.

I keep toying with the idea of resuming the activity. Sure, I'm old now, but I'm still capable. Too bad I'm not rich and retired!

If you're interested in flying, check back here once in a while and maybe I'll eventually get some more stuff posted on that aspect of my life.


People often ask pilots why they fly. For a brief explanation of why I do - or did - click here:

Why I Love Flying

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