ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, April 28, 2006

Its never too late..... to solo

As most of you know, I'm a pilot and a member of AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association). This just hit my inbox this morning as part of their regular newsletter. It just illustrates that its never too late.

Cliff Garl (AOPA 5271619) had always been interested in learning to fly, but he wouldn't get around to it until he was almost a century old. On April 24, the 91-year-old Seattle area resident soloed in a Cessna 172. "It went fine," he said. "Maybe it's a little unusual, but I'm enjoying it." Garl wanted to fly when he was younger but couldn't afford it once he got married. He also said his wife wasn't too keen on flying. After she died, he was looking for something to do to keep his mind working. He was experiencing shoulder pain from playing golf and was intrigued by a Be A Pilot ad offering an introductory flight. He began his training two years ago, having no intention of pursuing a pilot certificate, just wanting to fly around. Then he started to get the hang of it. The biggest challenge, however, was the medical certificate. He passed the exam, but the FAA was concerned about some prior health issues. Garl didn't give up on the paperwork process and eventually was granted a medical, but only for six weeks. That provided the window for the solo at Snohomish County (Paine Field) in Everett. Following test results and more paperwork, the FAA may extend the medical for a year. Garl now is thinking of pursuing a recreational or private pilot certificate.

Congratulations Cliff, welcome to the world of flight.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian