The Start

Around 1993 I lived in Sacramento with three other Irish guys. One of our addictions (among many) was flying Chuck Yeager’s Flight Trainer on my Apple Mac. At the time I swore that once I got settled down I would learn to fly for real. I forgot this until recently when I was watching of all things a TV program about safety issues in General Aviation. Lots of stories about people in small planes getting killed. Perversely this reminded me of my promise to myself back in Sacramento. Just to be sure the bug was still there, I bought MS Flight Simulator 2002 (and boy had flight simulators changed in 9 years!). The fun of actually flying over the Bay Area in the simulator, landing in San Jose International and various other airports in the area convinced me I had to go do this for real. I searched on the web to find a flight school that operated out of Reid-Hillview Airport. This is a small controlled airport in East San Jose that I had seen a lot of small airplanes flying around. I didn’t want to fly out of San Jose International because I would rather not have to contend with commercial jets while I was trying to learn. I found a company called Tradewinds Aviation that offered a cheap demo flight for $99. I told my friends I was going to start flying (they didn’t believe me) and on Friday evening after I got home from work I called Tradewinds and as luck would have it they had a slot available at 12pm the next day. This is a log of how my training went/will go/whatever, I read a few of these on the web and thought what a cool idea.

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