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Thread: T hinking of flying lessons

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    T hinking of flying lessons

    I have t his botteled up in me. I want to try it. I have a good feel for equipment in general. We have life a loft as a member her to help me. Im a bit scared to be honest but want to try.

    My Father owned a Cessna 150 and flew it all over the place. He loved to fly but had a few strokes and could not go on. He sold the plane. I went to my local small air port and talked with them and they told me I would learn on a Cessna 172. The plane looked big to me. They told me it was relative.

    This is something I have cooked up deed down inside me. I think I can do it but need that extra push. Its very expensive. Im nervous but think I can do it. Im into muscle cars and such so I think I can fly a plane. Am I crazy? I may be but I would at least like to take a lesson. What do you think?

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    I would really like t o hear from life a loft. I think I can do this but Im very nervous. I am in total safe mode at this stage of my life. I take no chances.
    Does anybody have any experience with learning to fly? I really think I can do this but need some help and a push. My Father is still living but he is not all there due to the strokes. He was a good pilot in his day. I want to learn more about this. Im very sorry to get off topic

    I put this in because I could not edit my other post. It only gave me 10 min or something like that.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Haskell View Post
    I would really like t o hear from life a loft. I think I can do this but Im very nervous. I am in total safe mode at this stage of my life. I take no chances.
    Does anybody have any experience with learning to fly? I really think I can do this but need some help and a push. My Father is still living but he is not all there due to the strokes. He was a good pilot in his day. I want to learn more about this. Im very sorry to get off topic

    I put this in because I could not edit my other post. It only gave me 10 min or something like that.
    Since I am no longer active as a pilot, I shall defer to A Life Aloft. His info is bound to be current and more complete.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by laidback View Post
    Since I am no longer active as a pilot, I shall defer to A Life Aloft. His info is bound to be current and more complete.
    I did not know you were a pilot laidback. What kind of planes did you fly? Were you military? We have a local guy that has crashed twice and live to tell about it. Once he crashed into a corn field because he was showing off and the second time he crashed into a mobile home and walked out the front door. Nobody got hurt thankfully.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Haskell View Post
    I did not know you were a pilot laidback. What kind of planes did you fly? Were you military? We have a local guy that has crashed twice and live to tell about it. Once he crashed into a corn field because he was showing off and the second time he crashed into a mobile home and walked out the front door. Nobody got hurt thankfully.
    Small stuff mostly, single and multi engine land, (as opposed to seaplane or floatplane )
    Flew recips only, no turboprop or jet. Biggest one I ever drove was an old C-46 Curtiss Commando. I did some charter, but mostly instructed and did some corporate flying.
    Never crashed one, but I almost did a wheels-up in a Mooney Super 21.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by laidback View Post
    Small stuff mostly, single and multi engine land, (as opposed to seaplane or floatplane )
    Flew recips only, no turboprop or jet. Biggest one I ever drove was an old C-46 Curtiss Commando. I did some charter, but mostly instructed and did some corporate flying.
    Never crashed one, but I almost did a wheels-up in a Mooney Super 21.
    Thanks and I googled both planes. I know you guys think I am a goof ball and I am but I get deadly serious about flying and racing and such. Im as serious as I can be when it comes to these things. I drag race a bit and have even dipped into auto crossing which is a blast.

    Thats why I think I have a feel for equipment. I have run fork lifts, raced cars, drove big trucks and everything else. Im not stupid enough to think Im too smart either. Im too old for that. I just want to give this a shot.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    A 747-400 is a large aircraft. A Cessna 172 is tiny. lol What you should do is go on a Discovery Flight. Most FBO's have a Flight School or more attached to them and you can visit one and pay for an Instructor to take you up for an hour or so and see if this is something you really want to try. If you enjoy the hell out of it, (you will know from the moment you rotate off the runway) if this is something you want to pursue. You should also check out more than one flight school, check on the prices for private instruction (they all vary) and talk to the istructors in person and find one that you click with personality wise and check out his resume/experience. Just don't sign up at the first place you try and don't sign up for a long series of lessons in the very beginning.

    Flying is a serious and expensive endeavor. But, it is one of the most pleasurable, joyous experiences on the planet. It is freeing and wonderous. There are courses and books for you to read and study, and some ground classes to take. You will need the basics of the mechanics of flight, the basics of the 172 Cessna (how everything works mechanically), how to operate the radio and make your calls, how to "fly" the plane and how to operate safely in your airspace and what to do in any emergency. Learning to fly a small Cessna is not that difficult. There are tens of thousands of GA pilots in this country and many of them had their first solos, as I did, as a teenager. It is all the other "stuff" that takes a while to learn. That all comes with time and experience and growth.

    You can join a flying club when you get a certificate and after you solo and fly with other pilots and build up time and experience. Owning your own aircraft, even a small one, is an expensive venture, but more doable than you would think, if you budget right and have some savings to put into one. There are many pilots who timeshare their aircraft as well and split the expenses (fuel/hangar or tie down costs, maintenance, insurance etc.) Where there is a will, there is a way. You may find out that you love to fly so much and advance in your ability after a time, that you want to own a plane.

    There is nothing to be nervous about. Flying is actually a thousand times safer than driving, believe me. There are far better pilots for the most part, in the air than there are on city streets or freeways. The more lessons you have, the more you fly, the more you learn, the more you understand how to fly the aircraft and what to do in any situation, the more confident you will become. Go for it. Take the Discovery Flight. That will tell you everything. You don't want to be one of those guys that always wanted to do something like this and looks back when he's 80 and says, damn, woulda, coulda, shoulda.

    I will be glad to help you out any way that I can. Feel free to ask any questions, anytime. I love to hear that someone wants to take the leap.
    Last edited by A Life Aloft; 01-26-2011 at 08:25 PM.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by laidback View Post
    Small stuff mostly, single and multi engine land, (as opposed to seaplane or floatplane )
    Flew recips only, no turboprop or jet. Biggest one I ever drove was an old C-46 Curtiss Commando. I did some charter, but mostly instructed and did some corporate flying.
    Never crashed one, but I almost did a wheels-up in a Mooney Super 21.
    The Curtiss is a marvelous aircraft! It was hoped to replace the DC-3 during the war, but it burned so much fuel that limited it's range some, even though it had a higher service ceiling. It still was used extensively though and performed marvelously. I believe there were almost 20 variants of that plane. That must have been a great experience for you. I think everyone on the planet, has a "Mooney" story! lol Cantankerous fricking plane. Fortunately, all the almost mishaps and mishaps I have had were to do AC issues and a few due to WX or birds (not pilot - but I did manage some less than fun landings when I was a new puppy flying my first Boeing with pax lol), but I have been able not to crash any planes thus far. lmao

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by A Life Aloft View Post
    A 747-400 is a large aircraft. A Cessna 172 is tiny.( snip )

    I will be glad to help you out any way that I can. Feel free to ask any questions, anytime. I love to hear that someone wants to take the leap.
    LOL, a 747-400 is an aluminum overcast. I was working for Boeing in Seattle when they brought out the 747. I got to ride in #4 before they sent it to the Paris Air Show.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Haskell View Post
    Thanks and I googled both planes. I know you guys think I am a goof ball and I am but I get deadly serious about flying and racing and such. Im as serious as I can be when it comes to these things. I drag race a bit and have even dipped into auto crossing which is a blast.

    Thats why I think I have a feel for equipment. I have run fork lifts, raced cars, drove big trucks and everything else. Im not stupid enough to think Im too smart either. Im too old for that. I just want to give this a shot.
    It sounds like you should have no problem. In my humble experiences as an instructor, I found that farmers and mechanics were easiest to instruct, while professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc) were more difficult.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by laidback View Post
    LOL, a 747-400 is an aluminum overcast. I was working for Boeing in Seattle when they brought out the 747. I got to ride in #4 before they sent it to the Paris Air Show.
    Back in '88/'89? Now that is awesome! I trained in Sim there in '89. The first 400 for UAL had a nose gear issue (didn't extend) and the nose parked itself on the runway at LAX upon landing. lol No injuries or anything and the damage was repaired and that plane is still in service for them as far as I know. I have a few friends retired from Everett and some still working there and nearing retirement. I was up there for a week last Spring actually. Did you ever get to know Joe Sutter? He's an icon as far as I am concerned. He was presented with some sort of award at Farnborough last year when Boeing took the Dreamliner there. He's a helluva guy. I really like the Everett facility and Paine Field, always have. Had a wonderful time there. I am pretty excited over the 747-8. The Whale however, will always be my favorite aircraft. Spectacular plane. You worked at Boeing, worked next to Paine and never started flying? Are you nuts??? lmao What's the hold up, man? You just need the money, the time set aside and make the commitment.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by A Life Aloft View Post
    A 747-400 is a large aircraft. A Cessna 172 is tiny. lol What you should do is go on a Discovery Flight. Most FBO's have a Flight School or more attached to them and you can visit one and pay for an Instructor to take you up for an hour or so and see if this is something you really want to try. If you enjoy the hell out of it, (you will know from the moment you rotate off the runway) if this is something you want to pursue. You should also check out more than one flight school, check on the prices for private instruction (they all vary) and talk to the istructors in person and find one that you click with personality wise and check out his resume/experience. Just don't sign up at the first place you try and don't sign up for a long series of lessons in the very beginning.

    Flying is a serious and expensive endeavor. But, it is one of the most pleasurable, joyous experiences on the planet. It is freeing and wonderous. There are courses and books for you to read and study, and some ground classes to take. You will need the basics of the mechanics of flight, the basics of the 172 Cessna (how everything works mechanically), how to operate the radio and make your calls, how to "fly" the plane and how to operate safely in your airspace and what to do in any emergency. Learning to fly a small Cessna is not that difficult. There are tens of thousands of GA pilots in this country and many of them had their first solos, as I did, as a teenager. It is all the other "stuff" that takes a while to learn. That all comes with time and experience and growth.

    You can join a flying club when you get a certificate and after you solo and fly with other pilots and build up time and experience. Owning your own aircraft, even a small one, is an expensive venture, but more doable than you would think, if you budget right and have some savings to put into one. There are many pilots who timeshare their aircraft as well and split the expenses (fuel/hangar or tie down costs, maintenance, insurance etc.) Where there is a will, there is a way. You may find out that you love to fly so much and advance in your ability after a time, that you want to own a plane.

    There is nothing to be nervous about. Flying is actually a thousand times safer than driving, believe me. There are far better pilots for the most part, in the air than there are on city streets or freeways. The more lessons you have, the more you fly, the more you learn, the more you understand how to fly the aircraft and what to do in any situation, the more confident you will become. Go for it. Take the Discovery Flight. That will tell you everything. You don't want to be one of those guys that always wanted to do something like this and looks back when he's 80 and says, damn, woulda, coulda, shoulda.

    I will be glad to help you out any way that I can. Feel free to ask any questions, anytime. I love to hear that someone wants to take the leap.

    I thank you so much for your opinion. I think I can do this. I know its not a big deal to you and ladid back who are pilots but I have zero experience. None. Im starting from scratch. Think back to those days life a loft. Im a 50 year old man like a 16 year old kid ready to drive. Im very excited about this.

    My local air port has a Cessna 172 to train on. They told me it would be fine even if I had no experience. This is the plane they use to trane new people on. I know what Im talking about is very elemtary to laidback and life a loft but I have to start somewhere.

    LIfe a loft, what is the fist lesson like? The 172 looks big to me but they said its relative. I think I can fly it but Im a bit nervous. What pointers can you can laid back give me?

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by laidback View Post
    It sounds like you should have no problem. In my humble experiences as an instructor, I found that farmers and mechanics were easiest to instruct, while professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc) were more difficult.

    I missed it but laid back are you an instructer? INstructer to flight? I know your an itellegeint man no doubt. Can you share more please. Thanks.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    You should be excited!!! You won't do too much on the first lesson so you won't be overwhelmed or be expected to "perform". (except you will have the time of your life and surprise the hell out of yourself lol) You'll be getting familiar with the aircraft from the outside in and listening to the instructor. He should let you take the yoke at altitude (say by over 2100 feet) to get the feel of actual flying. It should be fun and not too technical at that point. Relax, listen to what the Instructor is saying and most importantly, enjoy the views. I am dead serious about that. It's fun! Flying is a true and pure joy. Get the feel of the aircraft in your hands and how it responds. Look around outside and take in the scenery. I mean that.

    I wanted to fly since I was 4 years old and worked part time at little local FBOs for lessons and ride alongs and what ever I could beg, when I was pretty young. It was all I ever wanted to do. My Father was a pilot.

    There is nothing to be nervous about. In fact being a bit nervous is not a terrible thing, it will make you aware and alert and not likely to do anything foolish. (he won't let you anyways- so don't worry about that, at all) You'll have a landing or two, (he'll do the take-offs and landings at this point)you'll get an introduction into the pre-flight check of the aircraft and what to do/look for, the pre-flight check list, starting the engine, etc., you'll learn what all those dials, gauges and doodads are on the dash. He'll let you take the controls and probably do some ovals and you will get the feel of turns and how to keep the wings level in flight and during the turns, how to read your instruments, the feel of the engines and the throttles, etc. You'll start to learn to use the radio a bit and the lingo to communicate properly with the tower. It will be a breeze and time will pass very quickly. Much too quickly. You'll want to go right back up immediately. Trust me. You'll feel like a little kid again.

    On subsequent flights you will learn to do loops and figure eights and become more confident in controlling the plane. Depending on how well you do and the instructor, on the 4th or 5th flight, you should be doing the take-offs. You'll practice stalls, and more shallow and steeper turns and how to get into the pattern and line up for landings and more radio communication. You'll learn some emergency and what if procedures and in no time you'll be landing the plane yourself. It's a process. Everyone learns at different rates, everyone has different hand eye coordination and multi tasking abilities and you'll learn Situational Awareness and how very vital that is. You'll eventually do touch and goes, mid field landings, dead stick on landings and take-offs, upwind, downwind landings, go arounds, get some weather instruction, etc. Just make sure you get an Instructor that you click with.

    I KNOW that you can do this. As a very wise Captain who flew with my Father once told me over lunch, when he asked me how many flight hours I had at the time (I was just a kid and had like maybe 7 hours total and was terribly embarrassed when he asked and mumbled out the answer while looking down at my sneakers) that even astronauts at one time in their career, had only one single hour of flight time in their log book. There is nothing ever too stupid to ask or be curious about or want to know. Be the same way with your Instructor. Ask him anything and everything. That is what he is there for. Most importantly I really want you to have fun. I remember well the giddy feeling I had the first time I went flying. I felt on top of the world and like so much was possible. You will never, ever forget your first flight. And trust me, the views never ever get old.
    Last edited by A Life Aloft; 01-27-2011 at 01:46 AM.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Laidback, do please chime in. I may have left some things out. I am doggy tired and haven't had dinner yet and kinda rushing. We need to get this guy in the air. lol

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    thank you life a loft. Your experience is invaluable to me. AS I said before my Dad owned a Cessna 150 and the 172 looks huge to me. The people I talked to said it was no big deal because I had no point of reference. Im no mechanic or anything but I do think I have a better understanding of mechanical things more so than the general public. And Im a kid at heart and have never grown up. I love anything with an engine be it a lawn mower or what ever. I ride motorcycles and love fast cars and Im still 16 at times. This may be the biggest challenge ever for me and Im super excited and nervous at the same time. I love to be in control of something most people never will be.

    One thing that really concerns me is that my sight is going bad. I have never had glasses or contacts but its time to get checked out. I cant see things up close anymore. I may come out with a walking stick and dog for all I know. Its gotten really bad over the last year or so.

    I honestly think I can catch on to the mechanics of the air craft pretty quick and understand what Im looking at. Im not intimidated at all with all those doo dads as you call them on the dash. Its just getting the feel of it in the air. I dont know what to expect and dont know how it will react. Have you flown a Cessna 172? Are they sluggish or do they react like a Corvette?

    I remember as a child my Dad took me up in a Piper (cant remember the number, may have been a cub?) and the wings were under the plane and I could not see out of it and didnt like it. I liked the planes with the wings over the cab so I could see out of them better. Sorry for the poor wording but I think you know what I mean. I have vivid memories as a kid and Dad would take me up when ever he could. My Mother would not fly with him under any circumstances. LOL I was giddy about it. She didnt even want to know when he was going to fly. She was not a fan of this obviously. She was about as happy about Dad flying as she was about me riding motorcycles.

    Thank you a ton for your insight life a loft. I really appreciate it.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Haskell View Post
    thank you life a loft. Your experience is invaluable to me. AS I said before my Dad owned a Cessna 150 and the 172 looks huge to me. The people I talked to said it was no big deal because I had no point of reference. Im no mechanic or anything but I do think I have a better understanding of mechanical things more so than the general public. And Im a kid at heart and have never grown up. I love anything with an engine be it a lawn mower or what ever. I ride motorcycles and love fast cars and Im still 16 at times. This may be the biggest challenge ever for me and Im super excited and nervous at the same time. I love to be in control of something most people never will be.

    One thing that really concerns me is that my sight is going bad. I have never had glasses or contacts but its time to get checked out. I cant see things up close anymore. I may come out with a walking stick and dog for all I know. Its gotten really bad over the last year or so.

    I honestly think I can catch on to the mechanics of the air craft pretty quick and understand what Im looking at. Im not intimidated at all with all those doo dads as you call them on the dash. Its just getting the feel of it in the air. I dont know what to expect and dont know how it will react. Have you flown a Cessna 172? Are they sluggish or do they react like a Corvette?

    I remember as a child my Dad took me up in a Piper (cant remember the number, may have been a cub?) and the wings were under the plane and I could not see out of it and didnt like it. I liked the planes with the wings over the cab so I could see out of them better. Sorry for the poor wording but I think you know what I mean. I have vivid memories as a kid and Dad would take me up when ever he could. My Mother would not fly with him under any circumstances. LOL I was giddy about it. She didnt even want to know when he was going to fly. She was not a fan of this obviously. She was about as happy about Dad flying as she was about me riding motorcycles.

    Thank you a ton for your insight life a loft. I really appreciate it.
    If your vision is correctable, should be no problem. I had to get a waiver by taking a medical check ride because vision in my right eye was not correctable. That kind of prevented me from getting an ATP and seeking airline employment. A physical by a FAA licensed examiner is required to get a private ticket.
    If it was a Piper with a low wing, it was likely a Cherokee.
    Yes I am an instructor but my medical isn't current( the license doesn't expire, but requires a current medical to be valid).
    Don't let the size throw you, they all handle pretty much the same. I was lucky in that the fellow that taught me to fly was a WWII fighter jockey that taught me "attitude flying", i.e. with the correct attitude and power setting, the aircraft will perform at its appropriate airspeed.
    With your understanding of powered mechanical things you should be fine when you get into that third dimension.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by laidback View Post
    If your vision is correctable, should be no problem. I had to get a waiver by taking a medical check ride because vision in my right eye was not correctable. That kind of prevented me from getting an ATP and seeking airline employment. A physical by a FAA licensed examiner is required to get a private ticket.
    If it was a Piper with a low wing, it was likely a Cherokee.
    Yes I am an instructor but my medical isn't current( the license doesn't expire, but requires a current medical to be valid).
    Don't let the size throw you, they all handle pretty much the same. I was lucky in that the fellow that taught me to fly was a WWII fighter jockey that taught me "attitude flying", i.e. with the correct attitude and power setting, the aircraft will perform at its appropriate airspeed.
    With your understanding of powered mechanical things you should be fine when you get into that third dimension.
    Thanks for your imput laidback. gotta get my eyes checked out. They are not good I know. This really worries me. Im going blind by the day. It sucks too. This may be something I cant do because of my sight of lack there of.

    I have never seen an eye doctor so hopefully something can be done. I have put this off forever and have no excuses other than I was trying to save money. Now, Im about blind. Its time to man up. I hope its not too late.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Haskell View Post
    Thanks for your imput laidback. gotta get my eyes checked out. They are not good I know. This really worries me. Im going blind by the day. It sucks too. This may be something I cant do because of my sight of lack there of.

    I have never seen an eye doctor so hopefully something can be done. I have put this off forever and have no excuses other than I was trying to save money. Now, Im about blind. Its time to man up. I hope its not too late.
    You need to go and get your vision checked out and any problems properly diagnosed and proper glasses fitted to correct your vision BEFORE you start any flying lessons. Did you mention this to the Flight school? I am surprised that they would not have told you the same exact thing. How do you drive then? Go see an Optometrist and get a full eye exam. If he sees anything he doesn't like or that is a major issue, he will send you to an Opthamologist for further examination and treatment. You should be going to an eye doctor once a year just like going to the dentist. It may not be that serious, or it may be. Either way, you need to go and get whatever the issues are corrected and properly diagnosed. You don't want to fool around with something as valuable as your vision. Get out the phone book, find an Optometrist near you, call them today and simply make an appointment and go. Everyone's eye sight deteriorates as we age. It's no big deal. Just get it handled and then you can start your lessons.
    Last edited by A Life Aloft; 01-27-2011 at 11:04 AM.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by A Life Aloft View Post
    You need to go and get your vision checked out and any problems properly diagnosed and proper glasses fitted to correct your vision BEFORE you start any flying lessons. Did you mention this to the Flight school? I am surprised that they would not have told you the same exact thing. How do you drive then? Go see an Optometrist and get a full eye exam. If he sees anything he doesn't like or that is a major issue, he will send you to an Opthamologist for further examination and treatment. You should be going to an eye doctor once a year just like going to the dentist. It may not be that serious, or it may be. Either way, you need to go and get whatever the issues are corrected and properly diagnosed. You don't want to fool around with something as valuable as your vision. Get out the phone book, find an Optometrist near you, call them today and simply make an appointment and go. Everyone's eye sight deteriorates as we age. It's no big deal. Just get it handled and then you can start your lessons.
    Im going to do that. My eye sight is terrible at close range. I can see far away with no problem and have no issues driving a car. My trouble is reading and things like that. It strains me to no end. I know you wonder how I function but I can. Its reading that kills me. I flat out just cant see.

    I need to be checked out for more reasons than one. Im am going to take your advice and see an eye doctor. If I misspell things or make gramatical errors its because I cant see.

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    Re: T hinking of flying lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by A Life Aloft View Post
    Back in '88/'89? Now that is awesome! I trained in Sim there in '89. The first 400 for UAL had a nose gear issue (didn't extend) and the nose parked itself on the runway at LAX upon landing. lol No injuries or anything and the damage was repaired and that plane is still in service for them as far as I know. I have a few friends retired from Everett and some still working there and nearing retirement. I was up there for a week last Spring actually. Did you ever get to know Joe Sutter? He's an icon as far as I am concerned. He was presented with some sort of award at Farnborough last year when Boeing took the Dreamliner there. He's a helluva guy. I really like the Everett facility and Paine Field, always have. Had a wonderful time there. I am pretty excited over the 747-8. The Whale however, will always be my favorite aircraft. Spectacular plane. You worked at Boeing, worked next to Paine and never started flying? Are you nuts??? lmao What's the hold up, man? You just need the money, the time set aside and make the commitment.
    Actually, I wasn't talking about the -400. I was talking about the original 747, first flight February 1969. I worked at Boeing Field, Seattle in the Wind Tunnel Model Shop. I did spend about 6 months at Everett on the static test bird and back in mockup.

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