Who is Brendan O’Mara?
Contributor for iFLYblog.com
Backcountry Bush Pilot (for fun)
Aircraft Owner: Piper Saratoga & Kitfox Bush Plane
Experience in Ultralights & Light Sport
Product Designer and Manufacturer
My Story (the short version):
I wanted to fly since I was a child – built dozens of plastic airplanes, flew RC airplanes. Always looked to the sky, but had no connection into aviation. By the time I was in my late teens I was developing software and was doing Information Technology consulting for real estate companies. A client had a Maule M7 and took me for my first ride – we landed at grass strips, visited his aviation friends – all by air. I was struck with not only the power and the independence aviation brought, but that question of ‘how’ really struck me. “How does this all work? how do you navigate the airspace? How does all of these avionics work?”
I got the opportunity to fly with another friend Kevin who really opened my eyes – I was waiting patiently in my car for him to arrive at his home, and he drove up in a dump truck, shouts “you ready?” I said yea, he said “climb in that 150 I’m going in the house for a sec”.. so I step up inside the ol Texas taildragger that’s parked next to his HOUSE… not his airstrip, but the house – pointing west out across the farm field. I have no idea how this is gonna work as he needs to taxi this thing up to his airstrip or something. Before I can figure out the seatbelt he’s got the engine going, and I’m still flustering around trying to figure out how to strap in. I barely click the belt (no headset mind you) and he’s full throttle out across the grass seed rows until we lift off. One of my very first experiences flying, and that’s the moment I realize I not only must fly, and the freedom of flight – but taildragger flight and the ability to land and take off from home. That moment planted the seed, thanks to Kevin, to not only become a pilot but to equip myself to land at my small farm – now I have a Taildragger on 26’s and can land on my 500ft strip 20% grade slope hill farmfield thanks to Kevin. As the great Ferris Bueler said, “If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.” Life has never been the same for me.
Now that I have a new baby and the whole family now loves to fly with me, we have recently purchased a 1981 Piper Saratoga for family and business travel. It’s a lovely airframe, very comfortable, and the Aspen PFD and Garmin 530W with autopilot really spoil this hobby bush pilot!
It’s great to experience both ends of the flying world. Now go out and share aviation with someone special!
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