My first plane

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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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Declare your independence: Fly cheap

There are two kinds of GA pilots in the world. The first group is the experienced pilot who wants to continue flying as often and for as many years as possible. A major deterrent to meeting that goal is cost. Renting an airplane at $100 an hour or more is difficult for many of us. And let’s face it, $100 per hour has become a pretty attractive rate in many parts of the country.

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I do not consent to searches

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When did American citizens give up Fourth Amendment rights just because they became pilots?

Over the past year, there have been numerous reports of searches of private aircraft without warrants. The accounts described by the pilots also suggest that insufficient cause was given by the law enforcement agencies conducting the searches. This is a disturbing trend.

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Reversed adventures

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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…]