Plane & Pilot
Monday, March 1, 2004

Kissimmee Cardinal


Retired, but not ready to slow down—just like its owner


cardinalHow often has your significant other told you, no, ordered you to get out of the house and go flying? After seeing her husband mow the lawn in different directions for the third time in a week, D Frechette figured that flying was just what her husband, Roger, needed. A retired Massachusetts state trooper, Roger was not, shall we say, challenged with landscaping.
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cardinalHow often has your significant other told you, no, ordered you to get out of the house and go flying? After seeing her husband mow the lawn in different directions for the third time in a week, D Frechette figured that flying was just what her husband, Roger, needed. A retired Massachusetts state trooper, Roger was not, shall we say, challenged with landscaping.

Roger’s flying story, drifting in and out of the sky, has a familiar ring to it. Like so many others, he began flying with enthusiasm and then drifted away from it with the demands of family and work weighing heavily on his time. Unlike most, Roger’s reason to start flying was because of a dare.

Driving by a grass airstrip with some friends, one of them dared the others to go flying: “Well, I couldn’t let that go. I went for an airplane ride and I liked it so much that I began working on a private license. My mom used to bring home airplanes for me to put together and I always drew airplanes as a kid. I just needed to get started.”

After a few stops and starts Roger went on to finish his commercial license and briefly thought of making a try for the airlines. “After a bit, I realized that I was too old to pursue an airline career and raising a family was just too important,” says Roger. “At the time, I was working as a draughtsman for Raytheon and raising a family. I ended up getting a job as a policeman and eventually finished as a state trooper. Along the way, I just ran out of time and money to keep flying.”

A lot of pilots find themselves in a similar predicament. For Roger, the flying hiatus stretched for nearly 25 years. After a career and the demands of raising a family were behind him, Roger and D, decided to retire in Orlando, Fla. The move was easy for D. She found herself in demand as a third-grade schoolteacher: “The weather was better and I was just as busy as before.”

Roger, on the other hand, didn’t find retirement to be as much fun. He was restless: “I began teaching traffic safety classes for the Sheriff’s Department. I enjoyed instructing and expanded into Crime Watch as a part-time deputy.”

Even with Roger’s new activities, D began noticing new horizontal lines in the yard, followed within a few days by vertical and then diagonal lines. Sensing a growing frustration with the slower-paced, sunny Florida life, she decided Roger needed a push.

Explains D, “I just told him that he needed to get back into flying, that he really needed to do something constructive with his time. After all, there are only so many ways you can mow the grass.”

Roger got back into flying in a big way. “I brushed the rust off and then picked up an instrument ticket, followed by flight instructor and instrument instructor certificates. I found instructing exciting and have been doing it ever since.”

Roger began flying the Sheriff’s Department’s Cessna 206 and soon started thinking about an airplane of his own. D agreed, and before she realized it, Roger had found a very nice Cardinal and brought it home to Kissimmee Airport.




Labels: Piston Singles

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