For a baby boomer who grew up with Apollo,
aviation was a given.

I was extremely fortunate to start flying at a very young age. My first memory of being in a Cessna was with a neighborhood friend Donald Evans, who was at the time [1971] a Captain for TWA. I remember he let me take the controls. The Cessna was green. Cessna green. I believe it was a Cardinal or possibly a 172. I don’t remember seeing struts. We flew out of Marlboro, Massachusetts [9B1] which was near where we lived.

In the clouds over NY in 63C. 1995
In the clouds over NY in 63C. 1995

I had my first real flying lesson in March 1977 at Discover Flying at Hyannis Airport [HYA]. My first lesson was in a C-150 Aerobat [N8162V] with Dennis Pekarcik. I also flew a C-172 [N9138H] and could barely see over the control panel. They put a bunch of yellow pages on the seat for me so I could see better. I began real training shortly thereafter at Hyannis Aviation. They were located right in the Hyannis Airport terminal. John Polando was there at that time and used to take my dad and I on charters in a Piper Apache and a C-182. My dad loved flying too. He was a huge proponent of general aviation for business.
First solo. June 25, 1979 HYA
First solo. June 25, 1979 HYA

In 1977-79, I was flying a C-150 [N19561] most of the time. Rick Thompson was my instructor. Hyannis Aviation soon moved to the East ramp at HYA. Their original hanger is still an FBO today. In 1978 the new C-152’s begain to come online. They were faster and better handling. I loved them then as much as I do now. I soloed a day after my birthday on June 25, 1979 in HYA, flying a beautiful new red and white C-152 [N69201]. That year, while away at school in CT, I had the opportunity to fly out of South Woodstock [64CT]. My instructor’s name was Rudy Tomasik. God bless him. He was a great pilot. He still owns the airport today. Rudy was a fundamental pilot. Safe and a natural flyer. We flew in his ancient C-150’s. Woodstock was a tiny paved runway up on a hill. Great experience for crosswinds and cross-country’s. I remember being there like it was yesterday. It was such a special place.
Coming home to HYA in N172CE 1992
Coming home to HYA in N172CE 1992

In 1980 I was a student at the Wooster School in Danbury, During that time I got instruction out of Danbury [DXR] and during some school vacations, I made a few cross countries back and forth to Hyannis in 172’s. A great way to build time. Then I took a break for a while. Not sure why. Life Interuptus I guess. In 1987, after college and getting married, I began serious flight training at North Central State Airport (SFZ) in RI. I flew Warriors [N2810V & N4295N]. I ended up finishing up with Executive Air Service in Providence, getting my private pilots license in a Warrior [N2909U].
Skylane 3227C was based in LEB. Lots of hours with Carl McQuaig
Skylane 3227C was based in LEB. Lots of hours with Carl McCuaig

In 1988 Masami and I moved to Rutland Vermont. Rutland – now called Southern Vermont Regional Airport [RUT] would be my home base for a few years. I went to work for D & T Spinning, Inc., our family’s textile mill in Ludlow. I took some lessons and got checked out in RUT to get used to the mountainous area. Mostly flying 150’s and 172’s. Determined to move on in safety and get higher ratings, I went back to flight school in NJ at Aviation Career Academy. ACA had been recommended by a friend. Based at Flying W in Lumberton, NJ, [N14], ACA was my first real move into advanced training. I trained on Frasca 141’s and in C-172. I got my instrument rating in 1990. In 1991 I began flying two very special 182RG’s [N3227C & N6063C] in Lebanon, NH [LEB] in order to satisfy my high performance endorsement and get my commercial certificate. My instructor was Carl McCuaig. Carl was a great instructor. Patient, professional, smooth and safe.
Training in a Cessna 310R from American Flyers in Fort Lauderdale
Training in a Cessna 310R from American Flyers in Fort Lauderdale

In 1993 I went down to Florida and began training for my multi-engine ratings at American Flyers. American Flyers at that time was based at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport [FXE]. I flew C-310R’s. They were the balls. It took me a while to get used to the faster approach speeds. After flying singles, the 310R was a true rocket ship compared to everything else I had been flying up till that time. I got my Commercial, Multi-engine Instrument rating. For the first time I felt like I could do this for a living. I could feel what it must be like to fly the line.

Right around this time my dad said he wanted me to get checked out in a twin that we might be able to utilize for our VT/Cape trips. We found a Piper Seneca II N75185, in Springfield, VT [VSF]. One day during one of my checkout flights, we were doing touch and goes on Runway 05. During one of the cycles, just after landing while we were transitioning to the “go”, we noticed a large weird black manhole cover on the runway ahead of us. It had not been there previously. As we raced toward it at over 90 knots we saw to our horror that it was a huge snapping turtle. It was asleep dead center on the centerline. I saw it flash by and shoot under the left wing between the nose gear and the left main. How it missed the left propeller I have no idea..

Freshly restored, N6063C on the ramp in LEB
Freshly restored, N6063C on the ramp in LEB

In 1995 I went back to American Flyers and spent a month down in hot Fort Lauderdale training to be a CFI. I remember the first day at school when the instructor looked at all of us (about 25 students in the class) saying “Take a good look around because some of you won’t be here in the end..”. The class had a high attrition rate. It was very interesting because we were all the same. One of our instructors, a ex-naval flight surgeon told us that we were REALLY alike in many ways. He had done studies for the Navy about the profile of advanced flyers. We were usually first born or middle children after a long spread between siblings. About 90% have hazel eyes. Most were mechanically inclined. There was a lot more. I forget most of it. Anyway, what I do remember was when we all went out to dinner as a group that first night.. we all ordered exactly the same food at a local TGI Fridays in Fort Lauderdale. Yeah 12 of the same dish. Weird. But I guess when you advance in whatever you do, the group gets smaller and more select and you probably are alike in many ways.
Cruising down the Hudson in 63C. 1990
Cruising down the Hudson in 63C. 1990

Most of my flying in the 90’s was in 63C. I love this aircraft. The last I knew, she was in CA with a new owner. Hopefully being lovingly cared for and flown often. I 63C her all over the northeast corridor. On one trip I had the unique experience of watching the Japan Airlines 747 carrying my mother-in-law turn base to final through our windshield as we were number 2 to land at JFK to pick her up. 63C never let me down. I was able to fly her in all weather conditions. 63C was owned by a local newspaper in Rutland, VT. When we met initially to discuss our flight arrangements in 63C, I had only one request: Keep the aircraft to military spec. I didn’t want anything broken if we could help it. Especially in the clouds. If something was broken we get it fixed asap and correctly. Deal done with a handshake. That aircraft was always spotless. like new. We flew so often between HYA and RUT that the controllers began to know us by name. Cool stuff.
Pre-flighting 63C prior to heading to Block Island
Pre-flighting 63C prior to heading to Block Island

The last time I flew was in June of 2000 according to my logbook. Way too long ago. I remember it was possibly about money and budgetary constraints on the business. I can’t remember everything. What I do know is that I miss being up there. I think about flying everyday and can’t wait to get back in the cockpit. I plan to get my medical back. I am working on my health. It’s pretty much the only thing holding me back from flying now. And while I am here editing this page, I want to thank each and every one of the instructors, mentors, mechanics and pilots who inspired me to fly and be humble and safe. Thank you for imparting patience, common sense and the love of flight. You are such an important part of who I am. For this I shall always be forever grateful.

Total Flight Time to Date: 865 Hours
Multi-Engine Time: 19 Hours
Night Flight Time: 109 Hours
Instrument Flight Time: 40 Hours
Instrument Approaches: 160
Total Day Landings: 1031
Total Night Landings: 127

 

To date I have flown 61 different aircraft and 15 types:

C-150
N8162V
N19561
N8637G
N3574L
N63455
N10648
N19402
 
N714DG
N7158F
N2810V
 
 
 
 
C-152
N48870
N48881
N69201
N67368
N5282B
N89097
N46872
 
N5465P
N4954A
N69061
 
 
 
 
C-172
N9138H
N738TG
N3568E
N3543E
N3553E
N99756
N738LQ
 
N9193G
N733XF
N4173L
N9935L
N99704
N98379
N52049
 
N739RS
N734GS
N99826
N97224
N4577
N81AF
N737SX
T-41B
N93217
 
 
 
 
 
 
C-172RG
N172CE
N9443D
N9451D
N4669V
 
 
 
C-182
N9687E
 
 
 
 
 
 
C-182RG
N3227C
N6063C
N268ER
 
 
 
 
C-310B
N8478
 
 
 
 
 
 
C-310R
N3399Q
N2638Y
 
 
 
 
 
PA-38-112
N9571T
 
 
 
 
 
 
PA-28-161
N8210T
N4295N
N2909U
 
 
 
 
PA-28-180
N5354L
N7471W
 
 
 
 
 
PA-28-181
N9397C
 
 
 
 
 
 
PA-32-260
N56309
 
 
 
 
 
 
PA-32-301
N42945
 
 
 
 
 
 
PA-34-200
N75185