Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.
In 1983, after I’d been parking my old Cessna 140 at the Georgetown, Texas airport for several years I was suddenly the focus of a lot of questions from other pilots.
“Gene [the fixed base operator] says you don’t have a pilots license.” Boiled down, that was the question. “He says he’s going to turn you in to the FAA.”
I could see this might cause a problem. I’d logged 500 hours pilot-in-command in my old 1947 Cessna, but I’d never been signed off for solo flight by a flight instructor. I’d flown from Texas to Savanna, Georgia and back sleeping under the wing, carried passengers, chased cows, but I had never jumped through the hoops required by the FAA to become a licensed pilot.
Now someone had ratted me out. No way Gene could have found out about this unless someone dropped the dime on me, and anyone who told him did it knowing he was a sniveling rat who’d turn in his mother for a burned out license tag light just for the feel good.
Whew. Going legal was never part of my program. It was a complication and it would lead to other complications of legalities I’d been ignoring. Getting annual inspections on my plane every year, for instance.
A guy named Tom Dixon, whom I’d done some scary flying things with had recently gotten his instructor ticket, so I got him to sign me off for solo flight, went through the various navigation requirements, hood time, studied the FAA manuals, took the written test.
I’ve told on another blog entry here somewhere about the FAA Flight Examiner in Austin who gave me my check ride. About what he said when he examined my logbook.
But in the end I was a legal private pilot.
As nearly as I could tell it didn’t make an iota of difference.
If I had to live my life over I suppose one of the few things I’d change would be learning to fly at an earlier age and never going legal.