My incredible husband earned his private pilot license in July. With grad school, moving, and all things pertaining to everyday life, we haven’t made it out for our first flight together until this very day. Let me tell you – it was well worth the wait!
My husband is working diligently to become a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor). He has completed 65 hours of flight time to earn his private pilot license. To complete his training 40 hours of simulated/actual Instrument instruction is required; and to become a CFI, he must complete his Commercial rating training with a minimum of 250 hours of flight time.
Becoming a CFI is my husband’s lifelong dream. We had a very serious discussion about it over a year ago, before he began this venture. I fully support him in his vision, but of course like any dream, it comes with sacrifices (dreams come true, not free). It is remarkably expensive, time-consuming, and (like medicine) the pilot must be completely committed, as life and death circumstances can arise. My point – this is meticulous and sedulous work and it’s quite the investment (mentally, physically, and financially). Ultimately, this was a grand accomplishment for my husband, and I was remarkably proud of his achievement.
I was Alan’s first passenger. That being said, he was a bit more nervous than I was for obvious reasons. At Tradewind Airport, the Cessna Skyhawk waited for us outside of the hangar. Alan reviewed the checklist with me – we checked the oil, fuel quality and quantity, control surfaces, lights, Pitot tube, and static ports. We checked every nut and bolt, every panel and hinge, and then we buckled up. We slipped on our aviation headsets and announced our intentions to the pilots in the surrounding airspace. We stood at the forefront of the landing strip and had a smooth takeoff over Amarillo.
We decided to fly over Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon in the United States. I loved the surrounding farmland, like patches of cotton and corn on a quilted landscape. Within a matter of minutes, the agricultural quilt dropped off the surface of the earth, as if there was a rip in a seam, revealing visceral ravines, strings of hiking trails, and towering rock formations. Seeing this perspective of the canyon was a real privilege – the aerial views were just incredible. Clearly, God painted with a bold palette.
Near the end of the flight, Alan wanted to review the coordinates. He told me to take over as he pulled out his flight maps. I eased off of the controls that I had been gripping – slight, subtle pressure on the controls made drastic movements. I followed the GPS track on the panel, staying steady on that purple line aimed toward the airport.
I can’t wait until our next flight together! Enjoy the view and happy reading!
Enjoy the video of our first landing at Tradewind Airport, Amarillo!
For more information about Tradewind Aviation.
NOTE: All blog posts, articles, and photographs are the intellectual and creative property of Melissa J. Koziol. Thank you for reading!