About the time I graduated from kindergarten, my Uncle Leland returned from his enlistment in the newly created United States Air Force. Hanging out and making model airplanes with him ignited a passion that would burn in my heart for the rest of my years. About a decade later in Air Force ROTC I had my first flight – in the back seat of a four-place single-engine airplane. We hadn’t even cleared the runway when I was hooked. In these posts, I’ll share some of the highlights of the next sixty plus years of learning, flying and teaching in numerous planes.

  • My first trip across the Rockies

    My first trip across the Rockies
    1988 Road tripping in a plane Sara, a close friend of Jeff’s, was hanging out at our home one evening and talking about the fun times her family had on road trips. Seeing her joy, Jeff, with a touch of envy, said we never did that. She immediately countered, “Of course you didn’t. You flew everywhere with ...
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  • The Best Year Yet – Part 2

    The Best Year Yet – Part 2
    1988 Flying my own plane had a collateral benefit. I found myself reaching out to people just so I could share my love of flying with them. Here are few of my favorite stories: Susan finds herself Southwest Minnesota State University In the spring of 1988, Susan, near the end of her gap year, realized her passion lay in ...
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  • The Red Baron

    The Red Baron
    1988 The next step In the preceding two years, I had logged more than 300 hours flying my Mooney all over the country, in all kinds of weather, over all kinds of terrain, and into airports small and gigantic. I was itching to get back into the kind of experience I had in the Baron. And I ...
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  • Aviation Statistics

    Nearly sixty years ago I realized that simply because I was pretty good at math and science . . .  and my father and grandfather were engineers . . . and engineering was the gold ticket for young men (and a few very independent women) . . . didn’t mean I had to be an ...
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  • 1962 The Student Pilot

    1962 The Student Pilot
    In Aviation Statistics I described how I became a student pilot. But once started, the journey was nothing like I ever expected. Learning to be a pilot was as much academic study as it was practical skills. At the University of Illinois, this meant a three-hour lecture course combined with semi-weekly “lab” sessions at ...
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