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. 


  1. I had similar feelings about the beat up old 150 that I learned to fly in. Ok, there were actually two of them, but one was my favorite hands-down. They were both wrecked within a year of each other and around the same time I bought my airplane. Perhaps this made it easier to say goodbye...

    Of course, a Diamond is a lot nicer than a Cessna 150... :-)

  2. Hi Chris - I think we get attached to our planes. We've been through "stuff" together. This DA-20 in particular and I had some fun a few flights before the last. I had been flying a 172, and of course the cross wind deflection takes longer in the Skyhawk, but the Diamond immediately went to the left. Thank God for ground effect and soft field takeoff training! I was a Vr, so I "encouraged" the plane off the ground then back over the runway. Saved my bacon, that's for sure.