Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ticket To Ride III

Part III: Don’t get cocky, kid—You’ve soloed. Time to prep for The Ride!

We climb out of the wonderful CTLS. He smiles, sticks out his hand and says, “Fine job except for that one approach. You are now a sport pilot, congratulations.” Yee-haw!

Adding Up The Bennies
Later, Lampson and I sit over celebratory margaritas and the East Coast version of Mexican food. Reveling in our success, I thank him again for his wonderful tutelage. I can’t imagine a better learning experience.

On the way home, I study my gratitude. Think about how many people and resources it takes to teach you to fly: dedicated and selfless CFIs like John Lampson; committed visionaries like Tom Peghiny of Flight Design who see light sport as way more than just marketing; training materials from places like King Schools and ASA; and publishers like Plane & Pilot who understand the importance of spreading the aviation gospel each and every month to newbies and old hawks.

Another pilot with 35,000 hours told me recently that the ticket is “just a license to keep on learning.” Gotta never forget that.

Personal flight fosters aliveness. Flying has become, for me, remembering the joy, the challenge and the responsibility of living in the moment.

You need to plan ahead; that’s a big part of aviation. But, ultimately, you must be in the moment, second by second. I’ve got my ticket to ride. And I intend to use it!


AOPA Internet Flight Planner
(free for members):
CTSW Module for MFSX:

Flight Design CTSW Module Project:
Flight Design USA:
King Schools:
Microsoft Flight Simulator X:
Saitek X52 Pro Flight Control System:


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