Sunday, May 6, 2012

The logbook's voice from the past

I pulled my logbook out at the hangar yesterday to show a person interested in learning how to fly what he could expect. That's when I realized I took my checkride without having flown for a month. I don't know why it took me 14 years to fully understand why I flew so crappy (and it was spring with lots of thermals; the time of the year I hate flying) that day. Upon landing, I told the examiner, "I'd fully understand if you'd like to get out and kiss the ground before I taxi back in."

Of course, that memory set me to finding out whatever happened to that cursed airplane (that's right, I'm blaming the airplane). I found this picture of it on Airport-Data.

Somehow, it ended up in Arizona and I believe it is no more as I notice the N-number was just reassigned to another aircraft two weeks ago.

I didn't pass the checkride in the plane and it's affected how I approach flying ever since. Underneath a pink slip, is a lifetime of doubt about whether I'm actually a good pilot. There's a benefit to that; you spend a lifetime working to convince yourself that you are.

A lot painful memories came back after reading through that logbook. As I returned home that day, Carolie and the kids had made a huge sign that said, "Congratulations."

They looked at me quizzically as I drove into the driveway. I made a "thumbs down" gesture. I remember, distinctly, Sean -- my oldest son -- dropping the part of the sign he was holding, saying, "I'm out of here," and running.

I've often thought I'd like to go back in time and have another crack at preparing for that checkride. But the more I think about the post-checkride, the more I think I'd like to go back and take another crack at being a father.

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