Old Coot pilots come up with ideas for a new medical

JohnChristiansen
Guest Editorial By John Christensen

I recently attended my 50th high school reunion. I had a wonderful time reminiscing with classmates. As one would expect, the rather large crowd quickly organized itself into small groups, according to interests, past and present. I found myself embedded in a pod of old coot pilots.

After the hangar stories, lies and exaggerations were dutifully processed, the conversation topic switched to the Class 3 medical and our collective assortment of various health issues keeping us grounded. Many colleagues are aircraft owners and pilots. Tickets ran the gambit from ATP to private. All had one common interest: To somehow legally get back into the air, as seniors.

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The frugal owner

By BRENT OWENS

Airplane ownership is one of the best things about flying. The freedom, sense of pride and camaraderie afforded by owning your own airplane is truly a game-changer.

The detractor in all of this is the cost. In the U.S. alone the annual cost to own and fly an average four passenger, non-complex, single can easily be five figures. It’s not an inexpensive endeavor, but I would add that there are lots of folks who spend that much or more on other hobbies, so in the end it’s really about choices.

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My first plane

Ed-and-ColtCropped
By EDWARD DOLEJSI

The overwhelming desire to buy a plane for the first timer can be the experience of a lifetime. The dream of owning my own plane, the search for the right one, and finally parting with my money, should have started my life in the pilots’ paradise.

Well, “should have” are the operative words here.

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Reversed adventures

cherohala

We have an agreement that if chores get too strenuous, projects get too overwhelming, or lists get too long, it’s time to hit the road. Sometimes, it’s just for the day, but every few weeks, we’ll do an overnighter, and every couple of months we do several days.

We don’t go far; maybe a few hours drive to a hiking trail that leads to the top of some grassy bald where we can gaze over beautiful scenery, clear our heads and go back home ready to finish some tedious task.

Most of my readers will find this habit inconsequential as this column is posted in a flying magazine’s website, but for me, it is remarkable. [Read more…]