Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Saying Goodbye To an Old Friend

I recently decided to allow my "club currency" in the Diamond DA-20 to lapse.  The company requires that one fly the plane at least once in the preceding 60 days to be considered current.  Yet I realized that I was only really flying this plane in order to maintain said currency.

Although it is not the plane in which I had my first flight (that was a Skyhawk), I completed virtually all of my training for the private pilot certificate in this plane.  Even still I have flown this type more than any other as of this writing (77.9 of 120.0 hours).  It's the plane in which I gave the Banana her first flight (shown above) as well as her first taste of stalls, steep turns and ground reference maneuvers. 

I confess to feeling a bit sad about this.  I've created many memories in this aircraft - most of them good: my first solo and solo cross country, my check ride, landings sweet and otherwise, and of course my first shots of the Chicago skyline came from the left seat of this plane. I also prefer not to think about a solo where I darn near killed myself (at least it seemed that way) when I thought I was going to lose directional control on the runway, or coming ridiculously close to a certain biplane that did not seem to be making radio calls in the pattern at Dixon (C73). 

Goodbye, old friend.  You've been a trusted companion.  Yet it seems our times in the sky have come to an end at least for now.  I'll always remember our last dance - that beautiful squeaker on 16 at PWK with gusty winds 80 degrees off the runway.  A fitting way to go out.