Reawakening my five senses in relation to airplanes

Now that I have spent a few hours to try to re-acclimate myself to flying a general aviation aircraft, I’ve noticed that my aviation senses have begun to reawaken. I seem to pick up on little things again. Things I haven’t seen or felt in over 20 years.

The beautiful Model 35 V-tail Beechcraft Bonanza
The beautiful Model 35 V-tail Beechcraft Bonanza

Let’s take the sense of sight first. While I’ve not done any research studies on this, for me personally I seem to notice something new to my life through sight first. Whether it be a pretty landscape, a cool motorcycle or an attractive woman, my eyes are the first ones on the scene. Regarding aviation, I began looking at a lot of pictures of vintage general aviation aircraft again via the internet. Many people, even non-pilots, can pick certain aircraft out of the bunch – a Cessna 172, a Piper J-3 Cub or a Model 35 V-tail Beechcraft Bonanza are a few famous general aviation designs. At the airport you don’t see too many airplanes sitting outside, especially in the Midwest during the winter months, so it’s hard to see too many in person. Therefore, I searched airplanes for sale on Trade-A-Plane or Barnstormers. This stirred the knowledge I already had accumulated about general aviation aircraft. By reading the ads, I could further add to my knowledge of terms I needed to know and get a read on the used aircraft market at the same time. A win-win for sure!

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Public perception of general aviation different than reality

To many in the general public there is an adversion to general aviation and small aircraft.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone about a general aviation aircraft? Many people will say they fly the airlines to get to their vacation or business destination, but never want to go near a Cessna, Piper or Beechcraft.

Thursday, March 5, there were two well-publicized accidents in U.S. aviation. First, Delta flight at LGA skidded off the runway into a fence in snowy conditions. Second, actor Harrison Ford crashed his 1942 Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR (or a PT-22 Recruit) onto a fairway of Penmar Golf Course after an engine failure after take off from Santa Monica Municipal Airport. (A side note: Ryan was the company that developed Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis.)

Harrison Ford’s 1942 Ryan crashed in California on March 5, 2015

Both accidents were obviously dangerous situations, but both well-trained pilots avoided fatalities on the planes and on the ground. Damage to both aircraft is regrettable, but repairable; loss of human life is permanent.

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