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)
Pat and Nanette Miller
Pat Miller had been dreaming about finishing his flying lessons since the ‘80s. At 50, he decided to just do it.
Their Plane: 1979 Piper Arrow IV
Ratings: Private Pilot, Instrument, Light Sport Mechanic
Favorite Plane:North American P-51 Mustang
Home Airport: KRAL (Riverside, California, Municipal)
Favorite Destination: Paso Robles, California. “Family lives there.”
His Story: “I took about 10 hours of lessons (almost ready to solo) in the 1980s when I was in the Air Force, but, as a broke staff sergeant, had to choose between finishing college and finishing my flying lessons. I held on to my logbook for almost 30 years and kept dreaming of finishing. In the years in between, I never quite had enough time and the money at the same time to learn. As I was getting ready to turn 50, I decided to just do it.”
Flying In Pandemic Times: “Haven’t flown much for the last month. Desperately hoping that the FAA doesn’t shut down the national airspace while we’re en route.”