With my husband flying again and loving life as he learns to wrestle “the beast” that is the mighty War Pig C-2A Greyhound into compliance, I find that with my excitement for him comes a certain green-eyed envy. It’s been months since I’ve been up in the air in anything other than a commercial jet, and it’s giving me the shakes, man. I can almost feel those perishable skills withering from lack of use; I need to get myself in the right seat again before I really do forget everything I learned about conducting a SAR mission and dazzling everyone with my G1000 mastery (okay, okay, my G1000 competency, at the very least). Time to start poking at pilots in my CAP squadron for a proficiency flight or three — preferably funded by our estimable patron in blue, the United States Air Force. Gotta stay in practice if we’re going to be of any use in an emergency, after all… oh, who am I kidding? While I absolutely do care about being as proficient as possible as a Mission Observer, I love any excuse to get up in the air.
I would be thrilled if stars aligned this year such that I could start work on my own private pilot certificate. The sticking point for me is that I want to have the time and resources to fly frequently enough (more than once a week, if at all possible) that I can progress along that learning curve without a lot of retracing my steps due to time out of the cockpit. I hear of so many people hitting the proverbial wall before they get their certificates simply because they are unable to fly regularly, whether due to scheduling conflicts or running out of ready cash. There are scholarships available through several organizations, including a few devoted to women in aviation, but most seem to require that one has at least reached a certain milestone in the training process. There’s no way I can even start until after we are settled wherever we are going to be for my husband’s first fleet squadron, and I’ll have to wait even longer if we wind up in Japan.
It will happen someday, though, even if we have to wrench those stars into alignment by force. How else will I be able to fully enjoy the kit plane we intend to build someday off in the misty future after my husband retires?
6 thoughts on “I Miss Flying”
I didn’t know you flew planes, too. That’s awesome!
Thanks! I got involved with CAP back in ’08 and eventually got qualified in aerial search and rescue. I’m not in the left seat actually flying the plane, but as a Mission Observer I sit in the right seat and do whatever else I can — talk on the radio to the mission base and any ground teams that may be on the scene, fiddle with the GPS, use direction finding equipment to guide the pilot toward a signal from an emergency beacon, etc. — to ensure that the pilot can give 100% focus to flying the plane safely. The MO’s primary responsibility is visual search, though, just like the Mission Scanner in the back seat.
It is easily the coolest volunteer work I’ve ever gotten to do. 😀
I’m really enjoying reading your blog. I’ve just discovered the world of blogging, and it’s great reading about fellow military spouses. Looking forward to reading more posts!
Nice to “meet” you, Heather, and thank you for reading. 🙂 I look forward to checking out your blog, too.
I know my husband will go thru this whenever he stops flying. HE always says its time to slow down but at the same time I know he cant just walk away. not yet anyways.
Flying really is one of those addictive experiences — I’ll believe a pilot walking away from it entirely when I see it. 😉 A fair few of the people with whom I volunteer in CAP are retired Naval Aviators and NFOs who couldn’t bear to stay out of the cockpit after their military flying days were over. They bring a lot of experience to the table, and the cheap/free flight time is a bonus for ’em.