Old Flight Bag: A glimpse into a flying life

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old flight bag

Old Flight Bag: A glimpse into a flying life

My aunt was good friends with a Doctor in Alaska during her days living up there. He passed away a few years ago and the family wanted me to have his old flight bag.

It was in storage at my parent’s house for a year and this summer my parents brought it up to Ohio.

The large Jeppessen flight bag was in great condition; a rugged article from an era when quality was more important than quantity. It has the pilot’s name embossed on the top.


Flight Bag What is insideWhen opening the bag I was amazed; it was full to capacity. There were four large Jepp binders full of approach plates, all sorts of plotters, “whizz-wheels”, a Jeppessen kneeboard, maps, and a logbook.

Everything was very organized and in its place – just as I would expect from someone who took flying seriously. It was clear this was an instrument rated aviator from the contents of the bag.

The logbook is probably the most interesting artifact. Although the logbook is #3, it gives you some perspective into the kind of flying he did. The date ranges are from 1971 to 1995, but on the information page it gives the date of private pilot certificate as September, 1950 and the date of his commercial certificate was September 1969.  Assuming he started flying in 1950, he flew for 45 years!

Old Flight bagIn 1971 he obtained his float rating and three months later he received his multiengine rating.

In 1976 he became an ATP. Since this logbook is one of three I can only get a small glimpse into his flying life, but it does look like he was pretty active in the 1970s. He traveled about the Mountain West and Alaska with some regularity. He flew a C-150 on floats for his single engine sea rating and various other makes and models such as the Citatbria,  Super Viking, C-195, C-206, C-180 on floats, PA23 -250, C-172 and finally his last logged flight in 1995 was in a C-182.  It appears that most of his flying was for pleasure, but he did do some business traveling.  He bought a Bellanca Super Viking new in 1976; that airplane is still flying today, based in Virginia.

There is a 23 year gap in the logbook from 1977 to 1995; not sure what happened there. He may have quit flying or logging his time, it’s hard to tell. My hunch, based on the vintage of the items in his flight bag, is he hung up his spurs in ’77 and returned for a short stint in ’95.
He last entry is October 15th, 1995 in a 1964 C-182 in Alaska.

It is fascinating what you can learn from something like this. I enjoyed the experience and wish this pilot Godspeed.


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