I just signed a lease on a tie-down spot at my local airport today. Got a good deal too. Paid a year in advance, so that scored me a 10% discount.
For the first time in my 50 years on the planet and my 20 years flying around it, I finally have a place of my own at an airport! And all for just under $1,000 a year.
Just don’t tell my wife. Yet.
It’s not because she doesn’t like flying. No, that’s not it at all. She’s the opposite of the spouse who wants nothing to do with “those little planes.”
In fact, she loves flying in little, four-seater singles and twins, at least with me at the yoke. That makes me a lucky man because I love to fly her places.She’s flown right seat with me through a couple of emergencies, including a total electrical failure, on a moonless night, into an unfamiliar airport.
What was her reaction to those near calamities? Yawns. Just yawns. Now that’s trust you can take to the bank!
And I’m not saying don’t tell her because of the particular airport where I leased my spot. It’s her favorite, mostly because it’s only eight miles from our house.
It’s the one she calls “that cute little airport just down the road,” even though we live in a sprawling urban area. Worst-case scenario, a 30-minute drive in heavy traffic will put us in the parking lot and on our way.
No. The reason not to tell her that I paid a year in advance to lease a tie-down spot is because, well, I don’t actually own an airplane. Yet.
My wife might think spending money on an empty tie-down spot is a little cart-before-the-horse of me.
I don’t. I think it’s just good horse sense. The way I see it, it’s good planning. You wouldn’t buy a car without knowing where you’re going to park it first, right? Or as they taught me at the airlines: Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
A geographically undesirable airplane won’t work. It leads to neglect, which leads to extra maintenance, which leads to avoidance, which leads to more maintenance, which leads to pressure from my wife to end it and “sell the darn thing.”
And there will be no selling of the airplane I don’t own yet!
After all, I’ve made a big investment. The amount of money and time that I spent building my piloting skills demands that I treat them with respect. It demands that I maintain them through diligence and practice. It demands that I listen to my wife, since she drummed those three sentences into my head.
Turns out my wife is very wise. I don’t know if she got that way after watching me let flying slip away into the background of my life for almost three years or after watching a part of me waste away along with that. All I know is that I need to listen to my wife.
She’s the one who motivated me to push back against the gravity of workaday life and get back into the air. She helped me find the strength to get airworthy again, renew my medical, and pass my BFR after an eternity of self-imposed grounding. Thanks to her, I’m renting aircraft again. Life is good, all over again.
Some people say “behind every great man is a good woman.” I say “behind every good man is a great copilot.” Without her, I wouldn’t be where I am today: Standing in front of my very own tie-down spot at my local airport.
Check it out. Ain’t it a beaut? Great location, too — right in front of the terminal building!
Truth be told, I owe it all — as in this yearlong lease on a tie-down spot at a 10% discount at the cute little airport just down the road — to my wife.
As a matter of fact, I owe it to her to make this next logical move in my aviation evolution. You know what I’m talkin’ about. Yeah baby, that’s right. The big move. The one thing that will really let folks know that I am on the scene and here to stay. A cookout. On my very own tie-down spot.
That’s when I’ll show my wife the sweet deal we got on our very own little slice of airport heaven.