Saturday, October 22, 2005


Good-Bye, Three-Two-Lima

My flight school recently sold one of its aircraft, N4332L. I'm sure it's found a good home, but I'm a little sad to see it go. It's the plane that in which I first experienced actual IMC, and was the plane I used for my second solo flight. During March 2005, it was the plane I used most often. But they decided to sell it a few months ago, and since then, I had not flown it much. Now it is no longer on the ramp.

I wonder if she will remember me.

Every airplane has its own personality. N9103M is the plane I've flown most often recently, but N4363D is the one I've flown most during my training. I know which airplane is easiest to get trimmed for level flight, which one has the smoothest-running engine, which one has the best radios, and so forth. I know which one I'd refer to use for the checkride, but I know the others well enough that I'll be satisfied with any of them.

Yeah, I know, they're just machines. But I have a personal relationship with each one, and I'll be willing to fight you if you have anything bad to say about any of them. If I'm not willing to take my checkride in any one of them, I'm not ready to be a pilot.

You think that's bad... try loosing them to crashes. As I wrote about recently.. the two planes I learned to fly in... a 152 and an Archer2 have now both been crashed by other students.. both within 6 months of each other. I was there for the 152 crash.. still don't know what happened there.. he just ran off the side of the runway into a ditch on landing. The archer.. which just happened a month ago... was a very bad thing(tm) and the pilot was lucky to be alive.. never mind walking away.. and the legal battle has begun on that one.

I know what you mean.. they are just machines... old ones at that.. some older than me! but it's like your first car.. you get an attachment to them.. and in my case.. both have been killed at the hands of other students. They have a new(er) 152 now.. and should have a new archer by next week.. but neither are the planes I learned to fly in... now they are just any other rental plane.
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