First solo cross country

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03 April 1972 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: First Solo Cross Country!

Piper Cherokee 140 – PA-28-140, CF-YTY: YXE – YQW – YPA – YXE; 3:05 WOW! Freedom!

pa28140-1panel-768x584First solo cross country flight! I remember following along the north shore of the North Saskatchewan river, on the first leg of the two full stop journey, en-route from Saskatoon to North Battleford, looking down at the patches of snow that were persisting in the fields and the ice yet on the river and thinking, man, what in the heck am I doing here! Flying and airplane! Alone! Not even 17 years old! Am I crazy?! But what a complete and total sense of freedom; and now, in three dimensions.

I don’t recall a lot about the rest of it; isn’t that something; mind you, it had been almost 40 years; yes, I had to go into the Ministry of Transport (now Transport Canada) Air Radio Station (now Flight Services) and get my logbook signed by the on-duty operator; but the details of the other two legs, North Battleford to Prince Albert and from there back to Saskatoon, elude me; can’t even recollect the landings; guess I was too busy taking it all in.

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First solo

25 August 1971 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: First Solo!

Piper Cherokee PA-28-140, CF-YTZ, Ray’s Flying Service – Vern Forbes, instructor: 10 minutes; one circuit on runway 08 !

First solo! WOW!

pa-28-140I was not certain that this day was going to be “the day”; Vern had only previously mentioned that he thought I was ready; on final approach of the second of touch-and-go when I heard him tell the tower that we would be making a full stop, I knew this was “the day”! damn! sure enough, we pulled over to the side, he gave me a quick pep talk and said “see ya in a few minutes”; OK, here I go! thing is, I was not as uptight as I thought I may be; I had been training on a fairly regular basis and felt up for the task; I guess Vern thought so too; that 10 minutes was over way too soon; yes I did remember to stop and pick Vern up and he was very pleased with what he had seen from his vantage point; I was too, as the landing was one of my better ones; no cutting the shirt tales afterwards as they didn’t really get into that sort of thing at Ray’s Flying Service, but I didn’t mind; I had done it, and that is all that mattered.

First flying lesson

08 August 1970 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: The Start: First flight!

Piper Cherokee PA-28-140, CF-YTZ, Ray’s Flying Service – Vern Forbes, instructor: 35 minutes!

My career in aviation officially begins at age 15 years, 3 months, 8 days with my first flying lesson; thanks Dad 🙂

pa-28-140The book by Arthur Hailey got me interested but seeing the movie at the old Capitol Theatre in Saskatoon, SK with my Mom and Dad sealed the deal; both were of course titled “Airport”; I’ve never been the “same” since 🙂 As anyone will tell you that has been bitten, once the aviation “bug” bites, that’s it; you’re done; oh, you may try to leave; I have on a few occasions, but you always come back; I think it has a lot to do with the smells; avgas, jet fuel, PRC, interiors (they smell different than cars); then there is the flying itself; for those of you who have done so all by your lonesome, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Thank you Google Street View

Just a quick note that thanks to Google Street View, I have finally been able to add all the photos of where I have lived. They are now sorted chronologically in ascending order. So take a look on the About page and also in the Gallery widget.