I believe there are multiple paths in life. Whether the topic is spiritual, technical, flying, driving or any other matters not. There are multiple ways to accomplish nearly anything. When it comes to flying, the paths to aviation and within aviation are myriad.
Victor Vogel was a medical school professor for 25 years and did research in breast cancer prevention. His work led to extensive travel to attend meetings and give lectures related to his work sponsored by academic institutions, the pharmaceutical industry, and the National Institutes of Health.
Early on, Victor earned his private pilot’s certificate during his residency training and followed that with an instrument rating and a commercial pilot certificate.
During those early years Victor belonged to flying clubs and rented Beech Sundowners and Sierras, Piper Arrows, and Cessna 182s. In 1998 he went all in and bought a 1973 Beech Sierra and flew it for work for several hundred hours, much of it in actual instrument conditions over the eastern third of the country.
Fast forward to 2005, with his lecture schedule increasing, Victor formed a limited liability corporation (LLC), sold the Sierra and bought a new Cirrus SR22 G2. Since 2005, he’s flown the SR22 more than 1,500 hours.
“It is equipped with Avidyne R9 avionics and a DFC100 autopilot that makes it a truly functional single-pilot IFR platform,” he reports.
Victor has flown the Cirrus from Pennsylvania to the west coast, to Class B airports and to 2,200-foot isolated strips in remote areas of the United States.
In 2016 Victor earned his Advanced Ground Instructor Certificate and passed the written exams for his CFI certificate. In 2018, he plans to complete his CFI training and to eventually add CFII and MEI ratings.
Ultimately, he looks forward to providing instrument flight instruction in technically advanced aircraft after he retires, in the next three to four years.
Victor concludes by saying, “Medicine has been my life, but flying is my avocation and passion that I hope to continue for many years to come.”
The beauty of having access to multiple paths in life is having the opportunity to switch — or add — a path or paths. Learning an opportunity exists in the first place is often the highest hurdle.
What’s the story of your path? Care to share it? You may just inspire the next Victor.