On Civil Disobedience


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.

Old Jules

13 responses to “On Civil Disobedience

  1. My brother-in-law got his license when he was fourteen.

  2. Compliance is greatly overrated.

  3. licenses are so meaningless

  4. Pingback: Outlaw flying in the American west | Millard Fillmore's Bathtub

  5. License is for the government or ones in control to make themselves feel important and like they have done something of value and to collect some money to waste. I drove from the time I was nine to sixteen without a license. Never got caught and no one cared. I drove on highways all over New Mexico and in some towns. I’m sure Many of us farm kids and even for many years after we were grown that did the same thing and it didn’t make one iota of difference other than saving our parents some insurance money…….a part of the license game.

    • Hi Mary: Likely a time will come when all the licenses expire at once and they’ll send out the right-wing death squads for Republicans, the left-wing death squads for Democrats. It’s survivable but only for Independents, ne’er-do-wells and the tribe of village idiots such as my own humble self. Gracias, J

  6. You are no village idiot. You are a rebel at heart tribal member, like I am. We both hate being confined or told what to do by anyone, especially a stupid you know what kissing bureaucrat. And yes, with all the comments I make here, there and the other places, including facebook I will probably be among the first carried off to concentration camps. Maybe we will finally meet, in one of them.

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