With the pandemic sweeping our nation and our world, we wanted to turn our attention to the thing that brings us all here to begin with, our community and our airplanes.
You’ll notice that very little of our issue covers the effects of the coronavirus on aviation, though that remains overwhelmingly the biggest story in the world and in our little aviation niche, too.
When we announced last month that we would be putting together special features dedicated in part to the strength of the people like you and me who fly small planes, the response was enormous. The idea, which resonated strongly with our readers, was not so much to document the effects of the novel coronavirus but to highlight the resilience of the people who fly small planes in the face of that virus. So we wanted to share with you the faces, the stories and the strength (and, okay, the planes) of our readers. We think that you will find them as moving and inspirational as we have. (SCROLL DOWN TO MEET OUR READERS AND READ THEIR STORIES)
Edwin Cade Chesler
Edwin Cade Chesler is aiming high for a career in aviation, as he has served as a Cadet Lt. Col. in the Civil Air Patrol since June 2019. Currently in high school preparing for college, he plans to stay the course through the coronavirus crisis.
His Plane: Cessna 172 of the Civil Air Patrol, New York Wing
Favorite Plane: B-25 Mitchell
Home Airport: KIUA (Canandaigua)
Favorite Destination: Daytona Beach International AirportÂ
His Story: Flying has been a huge part of Cheslerâs life from the day he was born, and heâs pursuing this passion through his studies. âI have been flying with the Civil Air Patrol since June of 2019. I plan on becoming a pilot for my career and continue to take the steps toward that dream. I have been accepted to Bowling Green State University, the University of North Dakota, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and SUNY Farmingdale, all for the aviation major.â
Flying In Pandemic Times: With reduced traffic at the airport in the last few weeks, Cheslerâs flying life has changed significantly. âIn my last lesson, my CFI had us use masks and gloves to make sure the plane was safe to fly in. With my online school schedule, I have more time to complete my flight training approved by the New York Wing of Civil Air Patrol.â Heâs determined to come out on the other side of the crisis as a pilot. âAs a student pilot in high school preparing for college, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of doubt in the minds of some future pilots with the state of the industry being uncertain. My plan is to stay on course with my goals and hope that everything sorts itself out in the coming months before I head off to college in August.â