Jill Tallman

25 years and counting

July 7, 2010 by Jill W. Tallman, Associate Editor

My friend Dan took note of a date last week. “It occurred to me this morning that 25 years ago today I took my private pilot checkride.”

With only nine years under my belt, I was curious about the changes he’s seen in a quarter-century of flying, and so I asked. And he didn’t hesitate. “Technology, of course. Cost increases. Complicated new layers of certification and regulation–most of it intended to make things simpler.” (Is this ringing anyone’s bell?)

But Dan was just getting started.

“Putting someone in the pilot seat and giving him or her (especially her) an intro flight is still one of the most fun things I can do. Landing an airplane is next.”

“My next takeoff will be just as thrilling as my first one was.”

“My being a CFI in a rural area taught the wolf how to open the door.” (Is that a Maine-ism? I should have asked.)

“Lots of changes [in the regs] such as the shortening of the ritual long x-c. I don’t think that was a good idea. Nor was the reduction in total solo time. I think those changes must have been drafted by a government lawyer taking flying lessons.” But, “Maybe the changes in instrument flying requirements were good.”

“If you can fly a good NDB approach you can do anything. Be sad that you don’t have to anymore.”

“GPS is obviously immensely helpful (but subject to abuse because it shuts down the pilot’s brain). Access to internet weather and airport info and images is great, as is computer-based flight planning.”

“I remain aware how little the general public understands GA and how deeply entrenched are the preconceived notions about aviation in the public and mass media, despite all we have done to ‘educate’ them. But of course everyone is clamoring for the public’s attention.”

“Distracted driving could be almost eliminated if drivers had to worry about examiners introducing ‘realistic distractions’ on their road tests.”

“Want to get more people flying? ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’”

What changes–good or bad–have you seen since you started flying? I’d love to hear from you in the Comments section.

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5 Responses to “25 years and counting”

  1. Beth Warren Says:

    Enjoyed the post! Congrats on 25 years!

  2. Richard Depinay Says:

    “Want to get more people flying? ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’”

    I disagree.
    It’s a lot more about perceptions, and competing with other fun stuff to do but with a much simpler easy access.

    There are a lot of activities, again a lot, which cost as much as flying.
    Let’s take boating for example: a boat is going to cost me as much buy buying, maintaining, tie down this thing somewhere as a single engine.
    If I say I own a boat, people will not judge me as much as if I say ” I own an airplane”. then automatically, I’m rich.

    The first contact with flight schools is also terrible usually. I usually pose as a secret shopper, and I’m horrified how often I’ve been greeted with arrogance, lack of respect, poor professionalism, etc, etc…
    Flight schools need to understand that they are competing with golf, motocross, mountain bike and many other outdoor activities.

    I’m not saying that flying is cheap. But we are kidding ourselves if we think the only reason why we are losing pilots are $$$…

  3. Karl L. Roesch Says:

    And then there is the PC where you can fly virtually in any weather and at your convenience
    The down side:

    YOU CAN’T GET A BIG JURY AWARD IF YOU MAKE A STUPID MISTAKE.

  4. cynthia j. blickenstaff Says:

    to: Karl Roesch
    Found ;a website page on the Internet about ;owners of planes.
    I remember the number of N1208C
    I found your name, yesterday.
    I found this website page, today.
    THIS Plane; single engine of call numbers N1208C. was in Santa Barbara,California from 1977-1980 owned by my father and partner.( was white in color.)
    MY father able to get his private pilots license. My father few this plane from California to Minnesota back to California.
    MY father flew this plane around the volcano; (alaska) with local Gov’t permission.
    MY father lived his life in SantaBarbara,California; was a school teacher.
    MY father 1926-1985 diagnosed with cancer in 1984.
    I DO not have pictures, I have asked my step-mother.

    cynthia j. blickenstaff ( my maiden name; blickenstaff) august 3, 2010

  5. Opal Says:

    As the admin of this site is working, no doubt very soon it will be renowned, due to its feature contents.

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