Jets Are For Kids

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I once heard my airline mechanic father say, “All pilots are good for is see light, push button, and get banana”.  It was funny but he may have had a point.  I remember when glass cockpits were brand new.  I once heard the nickname of the “new” Boeing 757 was the Atari Ferrari.  For those younger readers, an “atari” was one of the first gaming units.  It was very impressive indeed.  Later the Regional Jet came online offering all glass cockpits to some lucky new hires who were instructing in 172s just a short time earlier.  It was a huge jump up in technology.

Today a Cessna 172 G-1000 blows my mind.  The amount of information available is nuts.  I fly a glass cockpit business jet for work and I can’t figure it all out.  The other day, I was helping on an oil change at my flight school.  It took me a couple minutes on the G-1000 C-172 just to find the tach time so I could write it on the new filter.

General Aviation

Some of the younger people I meet with talk about how they are really looking forward to flying a jet.  Here’s a secret….it’s ok…and most of the time its actually pretty boring.  Personally I have more fun in any single engine VFR airplane than I ever do “at work”.

I also find General Aviation more challenging and therefore rewarding.  I also know for a fact that if I was to turn my Luscombe loose to the average Jet pilot….well… wouldn’t end well.  I know this because that is where I was earlier this year.  My wife and I just bought our first house and I expressed an interest in getting back into GA, specifically tailwheel flying.  I found a school here in North Fort Worth that offered basic instruction in a Citabrea (aerbatic spelled backwards).  The first couple lessons were pretty rough.  After one lesson my CFI’s boss asked how the lesson went.  I told him I felt like I was in church.  When he asked what I meant, I responded by saying “this guy tells me how bad I am for an hour, than he wants money”.  We all laughed because well… I was that bad…and we all attend church.  With time and patience from my instructor I got better and today, when I luckily eek out a nice one in the Luscombe I ride home happy.

Matthew Hood - General Aviation

My point to all this is two fold.  Please, If you are a General Aviation pilot, take pride.  The other day I stopping by the flight school  were I help in the shop.  I met a new guy and asked what he was working on. He said “oh just a private..”.  JUST A PRIVATE?  That is a huge deal.  Working toward your private pilot certificate separates you from most of the general population. TAKE PRIDE IN THAT!! Years ago I heard Rod Machado (one of my favorite aviation authors / speakers) that the stress experienced from student pilots soloing was equal to fighter pilots in combat.  Wow.  Secondly, understand that the bigger the airplane, the easier they are to “fly” (mostly monitor).

Lastly l want to point out that while looking forward to flying other aircraft can be fun, enjoy what you fly today.  Without question, flying my Luscombe around the traffic pattern is immensely more challenging than my Jet for work.  If your flying a light general aviation airplane, fly it well, smile, and have fun.

Here is a picture of a great quote I found this weekend…..

Claude Lelaie - General Aviation

Chief Airbus test Pilot Claude Lelaie

Rumble On!


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