My wife's stepfather passed away but he was almost 100 so he had a very good life in Southern California living close to the ocean. When he was in his 80s he flew me down to Ventana Wilderness near Big Sur as I wanted to see where the fire there had burned. But when we flew north and landed at an airport he just dropped his plane about 5000 feet lifted the nose and landed.
I was white knuckling it because if I did this in a High wing plane like a Cessna 152 or a 172 like I have flown a lot I would be worried it would rip the wings off if I did this. So, I was white knuckling it but he I realize now was demonstrating what a good pilot he was in his Beechcraft Bonanza V tail because he was the president of the flying club and had already been flying about 35 years from his local airport in Southern California. He sold his plane finally in his late 80s before he turned 90.
But, I still remember what a great pilot he was in that Beechcraft Bonanza V Tail and tomorrow I go to his Memorial because he had a wonderful life of almost 100 years now.
The pilots like him that last are not bold pilots because:
There are old pilots
And there are bold pilots
There are NO old Bold pilots
The point is:
Flying is about 100 times less forgiving than driving a car.
I realized this myself when I first soloed in a Cessna 152.
I had to go to the bathroom and in the old days this might just mean
driving down an abandoned road with my car near a tree.
But, if you are flying a plane it means 10 minutes to 30 minutes to hours to find an airport
Then it might mean calling the control tower at that airport and asking to land. Then when you
get permission to land you usually have to get in line in the landing pattern for that airport behind everyone else trying to land. So, the fastest this could happen is like 15 minutes before you can land and go visit a bathroom. The longest might be hours before you are near an airport to land in a bathroom emergency.
So, once you are in the air if you are not prepared for ANY eventuality then you might not come down in one piece but instead in pieces. So, the point is if you are going to fly in a private plane most don't have bathrooms any more than your car does.
So, when you take off for 5 hours make sure you have water and food and a strong bladder or anything else you need.
Flying is really beautiful but it's also expensive and you better be prepared for literally anything because when it happens there's nowhere to go but land or crash.
My wife's step father was a really great guy!
We all are going to miss him.
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