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Guest ThrottleUp

Flight lessons and a birthday present...

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Hey all... just wanted to share my excitment. After dreaming about it for so long, I've finally started taking flight lessons. I recently got a job that pays enough for me to fly. I looked at a couple of places, and decided on Memley Aviation at KFCH. Thanks to flight sims, I've been a natural right off the bat. My instructor is amazed that I'm flying so well. She was shocked and was telling the other instructors that I only had about 4.5 hours but I flew like I had several times that much experience. I now have 5.7 hours. It's going slow though... I can only do about one flight per week at this point. It's going really awesome though... I'm really flying through my lessons (no pun intended).I am hard of hearing though, so it is not as simple for me as it would be for some. Mainly being I have to do a SODA (Statement Of Demonstrated Ability) flight with an FAA Examiner before I can solo, showing him that I have the ability to fly in general, and to demonstrate recognition of power loss, in addition to recognizing pending stalls and full stalls... in other words, I need to show the examiner that my hearing loss will not be a problem. I have to do this in the next couple of weeks because:My dad's birthday is coming up on November 6th... and I asked my instructor if she thinks I would solo in 5 or 6 lessons... and she said yes I most likely would... meaning I will probably solo by his birthday. Here's the kicker... my dad doesnt know I'm taking lessons... and he's a really big aviation guy, like I am, so this will be a shocker. Here's my plan:On the weekend of his birthday, I will surprise him by telling him that I hired a plane and instructor to take him up for an hour. (Note: not telling him that I'm taking lessons yet). Then, surprise #2, I will tell him I'm taking lessons and have been training for a little while now, at which point he will ride along on a lesson of mine to fly with me. Surprise #3, the grand finale... instructor AND dad will exit the plane... and he will see me solo. I will have my boss there too... he has really opened the door to making this dream of mine come true... I do have to work for it... I have to go through that door... but he has been really generous by giving me a job in a field where inexperience makes it impossible to get into it... and he has trained me and been patient with me... and as a result, it looks like my promise to my dad will be made true (A promise that I will fly and he will see me fly before he passes).Anyways... thanks for listening... I will definitely keep you all updated on what happens :)

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Good job, Todd. :-)Watch out for the power lines at the approach end. You know what I mean about FCH. That's where my best friend broke his back in crash there with an engine out. Cleared the lines but stalled and pancaked it down.

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Hey Jeff!Hows it goin?I know what you mean... the approaches into FCH tend to be pretty steep... which makes for interesting training landings lol. Right now I'm having a tendency to flare/float a little high, dropping them in a little harder than I'd like. Not afraid to land it... just misjudging a few things. I need to do a couple more training sessions, then I will get my SODA flight done... do one or two more sessions... then I should solo. Looking forward to it :)When did your friend have that accident? Was he training or what?

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It was a while ago in an ultralight flight from KEDW. Pat Harrington was his name. He died on the operating table a few years ago though during a heart op for Juv. Diab. I think he was about 35 when he had the op.Anyways, Dad told me it made the news...lol. He wanted me to fly back and fly it back with him. I told him to truck it up but he wanted to fly it. If you're wondering why KEDW?? Winds forced him to land there when he was down south...lol. Good thing he was also CAP and contacted them on the radio. I have no idea why they let him land there, but they did, without a fighter escort and/or being shot down. This was pre 9/11 also.It's another long story, I'll fill you in later sometime.Anyways, have fun at Sky West next week and tell Dan, hello for me. Looking forward to the stuff (grins). Call ya later.

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Wow... thats disheartening to hear that he died. At least he was under... and so it really was a case of going to sleep for the last time. I'm sure he wished it coulda been like that when he broke his back though LOL... talk about pain. I'm sure it will be fun... and I'm looking forward to it. I doubt I will actually meet Dan as I will be going in the evening, when he is not there... but he will arrange for me to meet someone there. Take care Jeff :)

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Nice one mate. All the very best for your flight-training!Flare! flare! :)

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