Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I have been dumped... by my own father. I feel so strange.
To be able to legally fly a normal utility aircraft you need a pilot's license, and a valid medical certificate. While there are a host of things that you need to do to be able to Carry passengers legally, but for all intents and purposes, the pilot's license never expires. The medical certificate, however expires every three years for the lowest and most basic rating. Sooner if you have certain medical conditions. Commercial pilots that fly the big jets need to get their medical certificates renewed every six months.
Anyway, my dad had some heart trouble late last year, and as is FAA policy, his medical certificate was suspended. No longer able to fly his airplane, he relied on me to fly with him so he could get his flight fix in. I thought that was awesome, because he was grounded just by the virtue of being in the airplane, I was Pilot In Command, and as such I got to log all of the hours we flew. On top of this I got to fly for free.
As an added bonus, when I came in to town dad would drop everything so that we could get some flying time in. I really enjoyed our time in the air, and the great advice and tips that he gave me while we were flying. While my wife was doing her Family Practice rotation in Norfolk, I would go see her every weekend, while she was at work on Saturdays, dad and I would go fly. I had a very pleasant, fun summer, as did he.
In November, dad got a letter from the FAA reinstating his medical certificate for 6 months. Despite the storms and ice floating around in the atmosphere, he managed to rack up 5 or more hours flying around.
The forecast for December 24 is a good one with fair skies and light winds, perfect for a flight. My dad and I had dinner last night, and I asked him what he thought about going for a little flight that day. He said: Well, um, you know the grand kids will be at home, and it is Christmas Eve, and you know how your mother gets, BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. A year ago we had more grand children around, and I did my biannual flight review in the absolute bare minimums of weather so that we could fly together the next day... CHRISTMAS DAY!!
I have been used for my pilot rating! I feel so cheap.