Ticket's still wet

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Ticket's still wet

Postby Greatblue » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:56 pm

Jack, Dave and Jeb,

I want to thank you for inspiring me to complete my primary flight training. I am a father of four; middle aged (51y and AARP proud), a physician and basically just a busy guy who wanted to fulfill a childhood dream. It took 4 years, including a three year hiatus that included a new practice and a newborn squeezed in that time. My wife was very supportive, but wanted me to complete ASAP. Listening to UCAP every week keep the dream alive. The best pearl I heard was "When do pilots start thinking about flying: with the answer being "As long as they can remember" Boy, that’s me. It just took a while. I went through four CFIs due to their transfer to airline/freight jobs and the like. My last CFI was worth the wait. A real gem.

This past Sunday was my checkride. As with many landmark life events it was not without some drama. I had to reschedule once and IACRA had some last minute snags. In the end it all worked out. My DPE, an retired FBI pilot and agent, was seasoned and could easily be mistaken as crusty and intimidating. Once the oral started it became one of my most enjoyable aviation experiences to date. The practical was even better. I knew I was flying with a master. After performing the required tasks he showed me some of the nuances of flight that comes only from wisdom and experience. What a blast.

When we landed he turned to me and said "Well, now your legal" What a feeling. My trainer, a C-172N sits in a shade hanger next to a Comanche 180 that’s been for sale for the past year. The price has come down from $60K to $50K. Fresh annual, IFR certified. My routine was to always stop to look at it on the way to my trainer. After the checkride I looked at it a little bit differently and a littler bit longer. I think Dave was on my shoulder saying "Take another look that’s a good airplane", Jeb was saying "but it’s not a Bonanza" and my wife was saying "Let's move on" and somewhere in UCAP land someone was taking a drink, a leines no less. I’ll see what comes of it. I joined a flying club with a C-152, C-177 and C-182 and will building time in them, but the Comanche still looks good to me. You go Dave!

Thanks again. I look forward to your podcast with as much anticipation as I've had for any Christmas present. UCAP has done more for general aviation then you'll ever know. Keep it up. I 'm now looking forward to going to Oshkosh as a "pilot". Thanks again.


Greatblue in East Tennessee

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Re: Ticket's still wet

Postby Scofreyjet » Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:20 am

What a great story! Congratulations, and enjoy! Of course, the ticket just opens the door to more learning...

I just finished my first flight review yesterday - I couldn't believe two years had gone by. I can still recall in vivid detail the great experience of my checkride, and in similar fashion to yours it was a tremendous learning experience with a true professional (although my CFI was also a wonderful professional, start to finish - I was lucky on that count.)

I found the UCAP gang after I got my ticket, and the "voices in my head" continue to help me keep "my head in the air".

Have fun!
Jeff Ward
I love things with wings!
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Re: Ticket's still wet

Postby jackhodgson » Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:38 pm


congratulations. that's terrific!

one of the surprising, but most gratifying, parts of doing this podcast has been hearing from listeners who have taken some small motivation from our ramblings, to start, or complete, their flight training.

i think that we do the podcast mostly as a way to communicate our passion for flight. it's nice to hear that we're apparently getting that message across.

have fun flying, and go for the comanche!

-- Jack

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Re: Ticket's still wet

Postby Dave Higdon » Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:23 pm

Greatblue -- Jack really hit this on the head; hearing from folks like you -- that's our second in a week, I believe -- is one of the unexpected rewards of our little labor of aviating adoration...truly humbling and a joy to hear. Congrats! Now, go forth, aviate and build time...and if that 180 Comanche continues to sit and the appeal grows with your air time, it's really an underappreciated treat -- although with four youngsters and a proud bride to consider, those four seats may be a bit inadequate. But the 180 Comanche is an absolute treat to fly -- fine balance, light controls, excellent control harmony, and efficient and reasonably fast for the horsepower.

In the meantime, fly often and well; introduce the youngsters and the Bride to some day-trip adventures, and let your knowledge and experience expand.

Sometime, we'll need to hear more about where you live and fly; noticed the East Tennessee part and, as a former Chattanooga denizen and the owner of 10 acres on a private strip about 30 minutes from Choo-Choo Town, I'm working on the ambition my Bride and I harbor to build there and relocate in the next couple of years...Chattanooga holds special significance for me, since that's where my aviating craving first took wing, as a student hang glider pilot at Dan Johnson's Crystal Flight Park at the base of Raccoon Mountain; continued to fly there regular on weekend trips from Southern Indiana until I landed my first aviation journalism job at a little magazine then known as "Glider Rider" -- still published today as "Light Sport & Ultralight Flying." Lived for three years on Lookout Mountain, a one-minute drive from the Lookout Mountain Flight Park launch, flew sites in the Sequatchie Valley (Whitwell and Henson's Gap) on the weekends...and still have friends and a major attachment to that part of the country.

But my past is history...your future is flying out ahead of you! Waytogo, Greatblue! Fly well and learn...and keep passing on your enthusiasm. Enthusiasm, according to recent scientific studies, is contagious -- and that's one human contagion we should pass on!


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Re: Ticket's still wet

Postby stonemanvideo » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:40 pm

greatblue, that is great! What a great relief to pass a checkride. I passed one just a couple of weeks ago and it is one of those things that when the examiner says "your legal" it is an overwhelming sence of accomplishment, to see all of your efforts pay off. Congrats! now go fly!

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