Alyssa Miller

Sentimental flight

May 21, 2012 by Alyssa Miller, AOPA Online Managing Editor

My journey back to Sporty’s for their annual fly-in May 19 was a special one. I soloed and earned my recreational pilot certificate there almost 12 years ago, and I had been back a couple of times over the (yikes) decade.

Departing Sporty's fly-inThis flight was sentimental because my dad was flying with me. On the way from Frederick, Md., I stopped at Boggs Field in Spencer, W.Va., to pick up my dad and head to Sporty’s for the sweepstakes giveaway. My dad had learned to fly in high school and took me for my first flight when I was 2 years old. He encouraged me to learn to fly and took me to Sporty’s for my training while I was in high school. However, as he reminded me on final approach into Sporty’s, this was the first time he had ever flown in there. He had briefly lost his medical right before I started flight training, so all of his time at Sporty’s had been on the ground.

We walked through the headquarters and reminisced over the time we had spent there and talked about the changes: Now there’s a residential airpark, a playground for children, and some new hangars. Familiar favorites had stayed the same. The electronic world daylight map is still hanging in the entrance to the shop. Jason in the operations department is still there—and he’ll call you by name even after a decade. And they still give away free hot dogs on Saturdays.

This is one flight I’m particularly thankful to add to my logbook. What are some of the sentimental flights you’ve made lately?

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