What would your last flight be?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Flyboy, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Flyboy

    Flyboy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've been running the medical gauntlet since last spring when I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I finally got my Medical back in January, only to be diagnosed the next day with type 2 diabetes and a lazy thyroid by my regular doctor at a follow up from a December physical. The diabetes is well under control with diet only, no meds, so I know I'm clear there.(it wasn't bad enough to show up on the urine test the AME gave) But I do need a letter about the thyroid problem not being a big thyroid problem so I'm back on the ground.

    I've been giving thought to just hanging up the wings. I only miss flying occasionaly. The family won't go places with me (my son will) and I'm just looking at the expense vs use ratio. But I want my last flight to be MY last flight. So I'm just wondering, if you decided to stop flying, what would you want your last flight to be?
     
  2. Missa

    Missa En-Route

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    I would want my last flight to be to a nice grass feild on a lazy late summer afternoon with only high puffy clouds in the sky in a low and slow airplane with a stick where I could have the window/canopy open. Ok, the only one I've flown like that so far is the Citabria, but there are others that would work. I'd fly untill dusk in the pattern watching the setting sun paint the clouds in glorious colors. Then I'd fly home in the dusk as the lights below and the stars above twinkled on. But that's my idea of Heaven and I would want to experiance it one last time.

    Another good idea is to go someplace historic. I see you are from NC, another good last flight would be to Kitty Hawk where it all started.

    Missa
    P.S. Then after the flight you would want to give me your plane.;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2006
  3. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    Departing just before sunset to an exquisite airport restaurant (Chateau Elan, in my case), with just a few light aerobatics on the way if possible, landing just as the color drained from the sky, a nice meal, then a night flight home. I would insist on my wife accompanying me, which she would because she'd be celebrating the death of the expense involved.
     
  4. DoubleD

    DoubleD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had a last flight of sorts 28 years ago. Was moving away and realized I was unlikely to find another FBO with a Super Cub to rent. I dearly loved that plane. Last flight was a beautiful spring afternoon. Flew to a nearby grass runway, then down the coast of Galveston Bay, doing some spins along the way. I felt a huge sense of loss and it was a perfect flight.

    I've flown many hours in the intervening years but still remember that flight nostalgically.
     
  5. JRitt

    JRitt Line Up and Wait

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    I would get another flying friend and take a flight to Alaska to check out (and take photos) the Ice flows, Glaciers, Mt McKinley, and fly north of the Artic Circle. If you don't own your own plane just rent one in Fairbanks or Anchorage
     
  6. grattonja

    grattonja Line Up and Wait

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    Have you thought about just letting your medical lapse so that you can continue to fly in sport pilot? You can fly around the patch, fly locally, even do a bit of travel, in something like a Champ. Day, VFR. Lots of fun, keeps you up occasionally, and lets you make your "last" flight down the road some time, really on your own terms.

    My understanding of the rules is that, if you do lose your medical or get denied another medical, and you just don't renew, you can fly light sport on a driver's license only, self certifying that you are safe to fly.

    Jim G
     
  7. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    There has been quite a debate about this. I have read several opinions that if you know you disqualify for the 3rd class, let it lapse, you still cannot self certify for the sport pilot.
    61.103(b)(2) States that you must have been found eligible for a 3rd class at your most recent application. Then 61.103(b)(4) goes on to say Not know or have any reason to know of any medical condition that would make that person unable to operate a light sport aircraft in a safe manner.

    It seems that this person may now know of a reason, IMHO.
     
  8. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My hangar neighbor just sold his Bellanca Viking. I'm flanked on either side of me by Vikings and now this is gonna go. :(

    Anyway, he's a reitred corporate pilot with thousands of hours in King Airs, Lears, Citations and previoulsy a bunch of piston stuff. Earlier in the week I went up to the airport to fly my Tiger and he was there cleaning out the plane of his personal items. Seems he's having a hard time renewing his medical due to an accident he had a year or so ago when he bork a hip. He now has crutches and has a hard time getting in and out of the plane. He's been flying left seat in the Viking wih another qualified pilot in the right seat. I put my flight bag down and spent about an hour or so talking to him about some options. Plus, I just didn't want the guy to feel he had to be alone doing that awful task. He is pursuing getting a Sport Pilot license and buying a Champ, Cub or Aercoup. He told me he started flying Champs doing crop dusting! A 40 gallon tank of chemicals would be behind him as he flew the champ from the front seat. Can you imagine!???

    The point of all this is, you may not have to give up flying. My neighbor also realized that most of his flights were short and local. A Champ or similar is fine for that kind of flying. I think he let his medical lapse, because he knew he couldn't pass from talking ot his docs.

    Boy that was sad, but at least it looks like the guy will keep flying. That made me feel a little better, but still, it was a sickening feeling seeing him clean out the plane that he just sold after 10 years of ownership and a lifetime of flying.
     
  9. Michael

    Michael Pattern Altitude

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    Its only cheating if you get caught.
    Not that I condone that sort of behavior.
     
  10. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    No, it is still cheating. That is what is called ethics.
     
  11. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    The questions evokes Gordon Baxter's writings after his seizures killed his medical.

    Now he's gone, and his writings on the subject still sting my eyes with tears.
     
  12. Flyboy

    Flyboy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm beginnig to think I might just not rejoin my club that was costing me 300 a month or so (I know that seems cheap to a lot of you owners, but it really is a lot to me) of which a little less than that was going for dues and insurance and just rent at another fbo. The equipent isn't nearly as nice - but local flights will be cheap.

    IF I can get back down under 235 pounds, I also think I'd like my last flight to be in a glider, which is what I started in. Maybe a 50 mile triangle in a nice glass ship... naaa... I'd want to do that again...
     
  13. etsisk

    etsisk En-Route

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    I don't think it IS cheating - if, after your medical expires, your doctor says that you are ok for driving and flying, then you are ok for driving and flying sport pilot. You aren't ok for the higher voltage aviation, but you are for the sport pilot.

    That's my understanding of it, anyway.
     
  14. etsisk

    etsisk En-Route

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    Then why not do that again? Gliders don't require medicals!
     
  15. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    What's your physical condition? This could possibly all be related to your thyroid. Seek treatment and get exercise (good on type 2 Diabetes), and you may get a medical again. As we get older, the more extra weight we carry causes increasing problems as well. Just 20 pounds over can have a pretty serious effect. I know it did on my dad. He started exercising and a not very denying but rather limiting diet, dropped 20 lbs and the blood sugar is under control.
     
  16. deafsound

    deafsound Line Up and Wait

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    i arrrghhmmmmpppth
    My last flight will be the one where they dump my ashes out the window.
     
  17. rmciottijr

    rmciottijr Line Up and Wait

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    Well this is not one flight but it is one final destination. I read an article in a flying magazine (not sure which on) but the guy flew from NJ to CA with long stops on the way. He found neat thing to do in the towns that he landed in / stayed in. I believe it took a week but for my last flight it would take longer.

    I think that’s what I want to do for my last flight or maybe before.

    Good luck with everything Ron.

    Bob
     
  18. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    In this case though I think the scenario is "I cannot pass my next medical due to a condition, I'll just let it expire and then use Sport pilot privelages". that is different than your scenario and is the one I believe the FAA is saying that you cannot self certify on. IMHO it would be cheating the system to pretend even if you are not caught.
     
  19. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Spike,

    Where can I find these articles? Are they online anywhere?

    I've thought about this subject a lot, but I try to avoid it. I have yet to come up with a last flight scenario that ends with a landing. The thought of losing my ability to fly is a terrible one, and it would probably make me feel like one of these guys:

    http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief2.asp?ev_id=20010214X00453&ntsbno=CHI01FA085&akey=1
    http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief2.asp?ev_id=20001211X11123&ntsbno=MIA98FA239&akey=1
     
  20. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That reminded me of the "Last Flight of the Blue Bird," a great story indeed:

     
  21. grattonja

    grattonja Line Up and Wait

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    I re-read the original post, Scott, in light of your post. He says he has grounded until he can get a letter on the thyroid condition. It does not sound, at this point, like he cannot be certified. It sounds like he is getting to the point where it is one thing on top of another and getting harder to get it all sorted out, and he is worried that at some point he won't be able to get a medical. And thinking it might not be worth it.

    He sounds like a good candidate to me for sport pilot presently, although another problem down the road might leave him having to self ground.

    Fly if you can do so legally, I say. The desired flying mentioned sounds like the kind of flying for which Sport Pilot is tailor made. I say make that last flight a "last flight in THIS plane" and make the next 20 years "bonus" flights in a Champ or Cub.

    YMMV.

    Jim G
     
  22. Missa

    Missa En-Route

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    Amen.
     
  23. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    Kent:

    I do not know of anyplace where Bax's columns are posted. I have two books, "Logs of a Pasture Pilot," and "New Logs of a Pasture Pilot," which are compilations of his columns, insterspersed with commentary and context, including some fascinating background on Bax's relationship with Flying Magazine.

    He has a way of telling the story that just resonates with me. Back when I lived in Houston and often worked out in Beaumont, I always thought I'd try to get him to have coffee or lunch with me but, of course, I never did that, and now I cannot.

    When he broke it to the world that he was grounded, it was in a coulmn entitled, "It Only Hurts When I Flap My Arms." Any pilot who reads that and emerges dry-eyed... no soul.

    The first book I have, Celia bought for for me with Mr. Baxter's autograph, and it is what is known as a "treasured possession." I can read his stuff over and over and over, and some day I'll wear out the pages (like I did with my first copy of "Fate is the Hunter"), and then I'll buy another.

    An American treasure, was that man.
     
  24. Flyboy

    Flyboy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    QUOTE=grattonja]I re-read the original post, Scott, in light of your post. He says he has grounded until he can get a letter on the thyroid condition. It does not sound, at this point, like he cannot be certified. It sounds like he is getting to the point where it is one thing on top of another and getting harder to get it all sorted out, and he is worried that at some point he won't be able to get a medical. And thinking it might not be worth it.

    He sounds like a good candidate to me for sport pilot presently, although another problem down the road might leave him having to self ground.

    Fly if you can do so legally, I say. The desired flying mentioned sounds like the kind of flying for which Sport Pilot is tailor made. I say make that last flight a "last flight in THIS plane" and make the next 20 years "bonus" flights in a Champ or Cub.

    YMMV.

    Jim G[/QUOTE]

    Yes, I have a "valid" medical now, but need a letter for the thyroid problem diagnosed after I got the medical, which I've been told isn't a big problem. I will be flying again, but with the escalating costs and lack of people to fly with and share in its just getting to be too much of a drain to do it in really nice aircraft. I know of no places around here that rent sport pilot class aircraft. I really wish I could afford my own plane and do Angel Flights. THAT would be a great reason to keep flying.

    Some time in the near future I might be planning that last flight. Maybe I'll set up a last flight fly in. :D

    I might even invest in a 2 seat glider down the road. I was looking through my old sailplane log book the other day and all I could remember was how much fun it was compared to piston.

    The medical side is a bit of a hassle. Sneeze? ya need a letter. Got a new med prescribed, you have to check to see if its approved and if it is you still might have to write another letter.
     
  25. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

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    Roger That!


    -1000 hr power, 50 hr glider pilot
     
  26. NC Pilot

    NC Pilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    My thoughts exactly. Hope I don't end up stuck in the carpet of the plane. :rofl:
     
  27. Steve

    Steve En-Route

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    Peaceful and serene, not like my passengers, screaming and flailing....
     
  28. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    :rofl: :rofl: Really, that's not funny...:rofl: :rofl: I did a duster once where granpa ended up on everyone and everything in the plane. I told the girl to hold the box outside and as low as possible before opening the lid, but did she listen? Noooo......:rofl: It turned out ok because everyone broke out laughing.
     
  29. NC Pilot

    NC Pilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yep, I know of several "scatterings" like that. One was a low pass over the local airport and all the folks on the ground got to see the ashes scattered out of the plane, plus the cloud that appeared inside the plane as it went by the FBO. Again, much laughter. :rofl: Funny, no one ever told the guy who bought his plane that the previous owner was still hanging around...
     
  30. judypilot

    judypilot Line Up and Wait

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    I did a scattering last year. It was one of the most touching experiences I ever had. I had a graduate student from Argentina with me, and we were scattering the ashes of a well-known amateur geologist I had worked with. The graduate student was in the back seat and did the honors, while the geologist's wife sat in the front passenger seat watching. We scattered his ashes in four batches over some of his favorite places. It was a perfect day. I was honored to be the pilot, and the graduate student was honored to do the scattering. I had planned it out all very carefully, and it went off without a hitch. The wife, who is elderly and not in the best of health herself, and I now have a bond that is very strong for both of us.

    I try to avoid thoughts of my last flight because it's too painful to contemplate. I've thought about all of the scenarios mentioned here. The auger into the mountain scenario attracts me the most, except for one thing: I couldn't do that to my beautiful airplane or any other small plane--they aren't making enough of them. The bottom line is, I hope I don't know it's my last. I don't think I could handle a last flight knowing it's my last flight. I'm not sure I'll be able to handle not flying, but if the pain becomes too great and I don't want to go on, I won't take my airplane with me.

    Judy
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2006
  31. Fast n' Furious

    Fast n' Furious Line Up and Wait

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    Completely unexpected?
     
  32. etsisk

    etsisk En-Route

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    Again, Scott, I disagree. No, you can't fly higher performance equipment in that condition - stuff that requires a 3rd class medical or greater - but you CAN fly sport pilot planes, IF in the opinion of your medical professional, you are healthy enough to drive and fly. Otherwise, why even HAVE a sport pilot self-certifying class, if you have to abide by 3rd class medical standards??
    Sure, if you ramp up the equipment, you've got to have more on the ball. But for the sport pilot level stuff, this ain't cheating!

    At least that's my understanding of it.
     
  33. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    *snork*
     
  34. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    Or in a vacuum cleaner. :D

    I did some ash-scattering and thought the paper bag on the end of a cord trick worked pretty well. I forgot to think of something profound to say so all I could come up with was "wow" as the bag broke. :dunno:
     
  35. HPNFlyGirl

    HPNFlyGirl En-Route

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    How I wish I could have saved some of Isabel (my grandmother) and taken her flying with me. She was always my greatest supporter when it came to flying. As a matter of fact her pride and joy was showing everyone my solo and skydive video. I should have taken some of her with me and had my cousin, who is a CFI, take over the controlls so I could scatter her over Nantucket or the LI Sound (where most of her ended up). That way I could have said my grandma flew with me. Things moved rather quickly that weekend back in October. Grandma you are missed dearly.

    As for me I am going out a planes window, and a hot air balloon. :)
     
  36. grattonja

    grattonja Line Up and Wait

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    Why? I hope I do. I'll be flying for a VERY long time then, unless refurbs of aircraft interiors get TBO numbers. It would suit me fine to "fly forever".

    Jim G
     
  37. grattonja

    grattonja Line Up and Wait

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    "Yes, I have a "valid" medical now, but need a letter for the thyroid problem diagnosed after I got the medical, which I've been told isn't a big problem. I will be flying again, but with the escalating costs and lack of people to fly with and share in its just getting to be too much of a drain to do it in really nice aircraft. I know of no places around here that rent sport pilot class aircraft. I really wish I could afford my own plane and do Angel Flights. THAT would be a great reason to keep flying.

    Some time in the near future I might be planning that last flight. Maybe I'll set up a last flight fly in. :D

    I might even invest in a 2 seat glider down the road. I was looking through my old sailplane log book the other day and all I could remember was how much fun it was compared to piston.

    The medical side is a bit of a hassle. Sneeze? ya need a letter. Got a new med prescribed, you have to check to see if its approved and if it is you still might have to write another letter.[/QUOTE]


    Too bad not not being able to rent sport class aircraft. I was delighted to see my local FBO put the Champ on the rental line. Not only does it give me an economical and challenging way to keep my pattern work current, it also gives me the tailwheel cert and some time in a sport eligible plane, as a hedge against the day when my BP gives me too many fits, or my allergies get too difficult to control, etc. I do know how you feel about the medical hassles.

    Jim G
     
  38. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Everything Offends Me
    Its morbid, but I hope that my last flight is the cause of my lack of ability to fly again. I'm young, but at this point, I don't know if I could deal without flying anymore. If I lost my medical, I'd fly with a CFI or friends or something...

    The only thing I can think of that would actually be my last flight would be the one before I died of some other cause or....

    Perhaps better not said.
     
  39. RogerT

    RogerT Cleared for Takeoff

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    Think Sport Pilot. As long as you haven't het been denied you
    can operate off your drivers license. I'm in the process of building
    a LSA eligible 2 place. I still have a medical and no known medical
    issues that would keep me from renewing it. But as we get older
    we just never know.
     
  40. RogerT

    RogerT Cleared for Takeoff

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