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)
Kristin Acadia Rokos
Kristin Acadia Rokos has been drawn to adventure since she was a young child. Her dream of flying crystallized at age 15, when she read a small book about what an airline pilot was.
Her Plane: Flight Design CTsw (and paraglider)
Ratings: ATP, Multi-Engine, IFR (A-320, CE-525S, CL-30, ERJ-170, ERJ-190) CFI, Paraglider, Paramotor.
Favorite Plane: âThe one Iâm flying, though I hold a special place for my paraglider.â
Home Airport: KPOU (Hudson Valley Regional, New York)
Favorite Destination: The mountains and wilderness
Her Story: Four years ago, I achieved my goal of flying for my dream legacy airline. The best part about aviation is that there is always more to learn and more adventures to be had. With a personal goal to fly as many different types of aircraft possible, Iâve recently achieved my float plane rating in Alaska and have plans to start working on a helicopter rating next, along with as many ratings as I can achieve. One of my favorite aircraft is one of the simplest. I can pack my paraglider into a backpack, hike up a beautiful mountain, and fly off into butter-smooth air, the wind in my face, my legs hanging freely above the earth, gently shifting my body from side to side to slice through the air.â
Flying In Pandemic Times: âWe should know in the next few hours whether Iâll be flying a normal schedule or if Iâll have some time off at reduced pay, in an effort to help out all of our pilots from being furloughed. If I get the time off, Iâll be planning some longer flying adventures in our new Husky.â