The privilege of flying - especially GA

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HJK 414
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The privilege of flying - especially GA

Unread post by HJK 414 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:17 pm

"I miss my freedom - or at least the perception of being free......"
It is a statement I have made quite often over the past 2 years after handing in my license and walking away from flying.
Voluntary - that is.

Somehow the feeling of freedom that comes with hanging a few thousand feet above the clouds - propellers spinning besides you and the clear blue sky above you is ingrained in my system. I mentally associate it with being free - with being able to escape the world with all it's day to day problems - and social expectation and obligations that it brings. The feeling of being in control - and having an interaction with a piece of equipment and machinery that I understand - and deeply care for.

Why did I give up the license, you ask .... ? Simple - I do not feel that I am current enough for the type of aircraft that I fly and flew to warrant safe passage for myself and any possible passengers. How do you explain it before a flight ? ...." Sorry guys - I am a but rusty - but all should be OK ? " That is just not on, and common sense prevailing it was time to hand over the privilege of being allowed to fly - and call it a day. Being behind the aircraft (King Air and C421) a couple of times quickly made it clear that flying a few hours per annum just does not cut it - and certainly not in very busy EU airspace under IFR rules.

The great pleasure of flying - for me, was flying alone.
I started in the jungle of New Guinea is the 70's - in a Cessna 185 and a BN Islander and I quickly fell in love with the solitude of flying on my own. It creates a "world" in which you are responsible for your own fate, and make decisions based on your own judgement. After surviving the Jungle (which was a enormous learning curve - and loving it there) the conversion was quickly made and I ended up in multiple Twins flying freight (auto-parts) across the USA. King Air's / Aero Commanders / Merlin / Cessna 400 series and a Lear jet are about the gist of it - and I loved every minute of those lonely (often night time) hours...
Favourite airplane of all time - An Aero Commander 685. Simply nothing like it - an aviators aircraft.
Least favourite time - the Lear jet period - (i did not fit in with that private wings / Ray Ban crowd) .....

Bought a private Cessna 414 and flew that for many years and did 2 RTW's with it. One with a mate - (eastbound) and 3 years later decided to do one solo in the 414 (westbound). The latter was a mistake as I underestimated the "fear factor" when crossing the Atlantic on your own. I quickly abandoned the idea of finishing the trip with a solo stint across the Pacific. It is amazing what doubt and being alone without any interaction over the Atlantic can do to your mind - It was a wake up call in every sense. There are boundaries you should not cross.

The best time in Aviation was when I had already quit flying for a living and had transferred to Corporate. My son in law was interested in flying (he now flies a Corporate jet for a Government official) and the time we spent together getting him his endorsements and enough hours were great. We used my 414 to get him a lot of the required hours and he would "borrow it" at length. Somehow the formal act and purpose of handing over some of the experience (that experience would be the summary of all my mistakes) to him was the highlight of the whole journey / and the fact the he is now successful in what he does is the justification of the investment.

Why am I bothering you with all this?
No idea - apart from a quest to get young people to "engage" with General aviation - to dissect the aircraft you fly in and understand what makes it tick and how it works. Sure - the jet age is here - and the lure of flying a 737 or a A380 must be high - and those guys are all professionals with a great amount of skill - but one needs to make sure that you enjoy the journey. General aviation and smaller aircraft sometimes require more skill and hands-on input than you can imagine. Enjoy the ride - and learn to care for the equipment you fly ........ You are privileged to sit in that pointy part of the plane, make the most of it !!

Me - I just miss the buzz - the engagement with a machine that carries you to the part of the world I like most - up there.

JK
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Re: The privilege of flying - especially GA

Unread post by andrem » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:12 pm

Over the 6000+ years of documented history, our desire for flight has been satisfied only recently. Even if you were a tsar or president 200 years ago, you could not arrange a flight at your leisure.

We live in an amazing era: nature’s beauty is more accessible than ever, and the damage we’ve done to it is being exposed; technology allows us to see things that generations have been curious about, and the effect of technology is becoming clearer and scarier; we are able to travel the world at an affordable rate and becoming more aware of the impact we have on each other and our children; we have longer periods of peace but there are more murders committed by a the world leaders (America and China) on unborn babies than any wars have killed their young men.

In the middle of all this, I love having the ability to go for a flip along the coast on a beautiful day in my Jabi. I have a mental list of people who’ve asked for flips and I work my way through it over the weekends.

Sharing such beauty is an absolute privilege and I agree that it comes with the responsibility of knowing when to say “no” and understanding the machine as well as can reasonably be expected.

Brave call to give that privilege up JK – I hope I have that courage if my turn comes.
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Re: The privilege of flying - especially GA

Unread post by Jean Crous » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:22 pm

HJK why did you stop altogether ? Was it not an option to convert to a small bushplane type like a Kitfox and fly for fun ?
I do not fly nearly as often as I want to, and already suffer of withdrawal symptoms 8-[
Nonetheless I think it is a mature mind that can make a decision such as you have made, completely free of ego and selfishness.
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Re: The privilege of flying - especially GA

Unread post by HJK 414 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:20 am

Jean Crous wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:22 pm
HJK why did you stop altogether ? Was it not an option to convert to a small bushplane type like a Kitfox and fly for fun ?
I do not fly nearly as often as I want to, and already suffer of withdrawal symptoms 8-[
Nonetheless I think it is a mature mind that can make a decision such as you have made, completely free of ego and selfishness.
Jean.
Hi Jean,

I never had a "click" with that type of flying somehow.
Looked at buying a single about 3 years ago - and ended up "wanting" a Beech Staggerwing.
Similar issues - different bird, currency / maintenance for the radial - that was not the solution...... [-X

I will learn to live with the "itch" - and my son in law has access to a DH Beaver in Canada - (on floats) and we will see what that brings the coming summer. At the end of the day I spent close to 9000 hours flying some of the best aircraft that you could wish to fly - (By skill or luck - I never managed to bend one / and never had an engine fail on me ...) yet - if I am brutally honest with myself (sometimes the hardest decisions are the easiest to make) - it was time to close the book.

JK
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Re: The privilege of flying - especially GA

Unread post by apollo11 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:01 am

Hi HJK, a good post, and one of sincerity and honesty, goodness, you accomplished a lot, have enjoyed your posts and debates over the years.

You mention perhaps flying floatplanes, umm, IMHO the best flying there is, nothing compares to my mind, and the Beaver is a great floatplane have some hours in them, but my personal choice is a J3 on floats, pure simple low-cost water flying. Very few things compare to landing on a beautiful smooth lake with stunning scenery around.

I very nearly quit flying two years ago but decided another couple to a few years, but I'm already delving into other forms of aviation such as drones - fantastic fun, and slowly building up a nice little FS sim. In another couple of years, I would like a real trick FS in my study where I'll spend hours horsing around with different approaches. Here I'm airline pilot flying ILS approaches down to minima all over the world.

Still on my bucket list is more time in gliders or TMG's some really pure flying to be had there.

Well, all the best and take care, hope to see the occasional post here and there.
Straighten up and fly right!
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Re: The privilege of flying - especially GA

Unread post by HJK 414 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:40 pm

apollo11 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:01 am

………..
You mention perhaps flying floatplanes, umm, IMHO the best flying there is, nothing compares to my mind, and the Beaver is a great floatplane have some hours in them, but my personal choice is a J3 on floats, pure simple low-cost water flying. Very few things compare to landing on a beautiful smooth lake with stunning scenery around..........

Apollo

I have never been in a float plane ….. :wink:
My son in Law has a passion for fishing and he uses the Beaver to get to some remote lakes / lodges
We are going on a "boys" trip to Canada in the summer ....... he is PIC - I am only a non licensed pax …..
I look forward to putting a plane "in the water" with trepidation. (spent most part of my life avoiding exactly that ...... :D )

JK
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Re: The privilege of flying - especially GA

Unread post by Iceberg » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:02 pm

Flying GA is fantastic, I dread the day that I will have to stop - but I know it is creeping closer....
I flew an ILS to minimums just recently and had to go missed - it all went well and I had to divert - so I still "have it", but it takes effort to stay in the zone.

I would easily go back to flying a slow simple single strictly VFR when I am older and not up to solid IMC alone anymore.

I hope I have the foresight to make the right decision in time like you did. =D>
The sky is not the limit....
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Re: The privilege of flying - especially GA

Unread post by HJK 414 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:30 pm

Iceberg wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:02 pm
Flying GA is fantastic, I dread the day that I will have to stop - but I know it is creeping closer....
I flew an ILS to minimums just recently and had to go missed - it all went well and I had to divert - so I still "have it", but it takes effort to stay in the zone.

I would easily go back to flying a slow simple single strictly VFR when I am older and not up to solid IMC alone anymore.

I hope I have the foresight to make the right decision in time like you did. =D>

Hi Karl,

For me it was simply a feeling of - being "behind the aircraft" too often.....
I did not bust airspace or miss approaches as such - but it was simply a feeling of constantly having to "work" to stay "with the aircraft".
It became a matter of constant "unrest" to stay abreast of approaches and ATC.
In a King Air or a Cessna 421 that can quickly lead to drama.

You will know when it happens - all you need to do is acknowledge that feeling.
You are an engineer - I am sure you will listen to your inner voice.

JK
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Re: The privilege of flying - especially GA

Unread post by apollo11 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:05 pm

HJK 414 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:40 pm
apollo11 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:01 am

………..
You mention perhaps flying floatplanes, umm, IMHO the best flying there is, nothing compares to my mind, and the Beaver is a great floatplane have some hours in them, but my personal choice is a J3 on floats, pure simple low-cost water flying. Very few things compare to landing on a beautiful smooth lake with stunning scenery around..........

Apollo

I have never been in a float plane ….. :wink:
My son in Law has a passion for fishing and he uses the Beaver to get to some remote lakes / lodges
We are going on a "boys" trip to Canada in the summer ....... he is PIC - I am only a non licensed pax …..
I look forward to putting a plane "in the water" with trepidation. (spent most part of my life avoiding exactly that ...... :D )

JK
No shame in that, a first time for everything in life... you are in for a treat. Let us know about your experiences.
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