Last weekend, I took my first glider lesson. I’ve wanted to try glider aircraft! Since moving to California, it’s been hard to get back into general aviation. Not because of the pandemic, but because of moving as well as fire season. Now that we’ve found our groove, more hobbies can come back.
Recently my husband and I decided to private fly to a new airport: Aeroflex–Andover Airport (FAA 12N). We’ve been up to Sussex County multiple times, but we’ve never flown. We’ve flown to Morristown as well as Lincoln Park, so we thought it would be fun to fly to Aeroflex–Andover Airport.
Over the past month, I started biking for a specific event. A triathlon of some sort, but not that triathlon you’re thinking. After flying and walking to a diner, my husband and I had the crazy idea of flying then biking to a diner. With the pandemic, taxis and Ubers are no longer something I want to do, so biking seemed like a safer and fun thing to do.
It’s been a couple of months since my husband, and I flew anywhere substantial. A few weeks ago, we were discussing possible things to do on Labor Day Weekend. I always wanted to run the 18.12 Challenge Race. My husband was not as keen on spending over 14 hours, driving to a race and coming back. I guess I can’t blame them.
He asked if I wanted to private fly. I’ve never private flown to a destination with a time limit. We’ve flown around the state and Northeast on our own time, but we’ve never flown somewhere to do something. I didn’t know how my body would handle flying the day before a race. Private flying is loud, bumpy, and you get sick a lot easier. But it sounded like a fun adventure.
What most people don’t realize is Private Flying, and Air Force Flying is entirely different. Just because you are an Air Force Pilot, does not automatically make you qualified to fly private planes (and just because you fly Private Planes does not make you qualified to fly Air Force Planes.) They are similar but separate entities. You must have different certifications for both. My husband has both and instructs and teaches people how to private fly. So if you, random internet person with no flying experience wanted to learn to private fly, he could teach you. He likes to fly, and it’s become a hobby of his. Anyway, I get a lot of questions about that, so I thought I would answer.
We also rent airplanes (We don’t own any LOL). First, we can’t afford to buy an airplane. Second, my husband prefers to fly a few different types of planes.
A Few Fun Things About this Flight:
- My first cross country flight (260 miles/2:15 minutes)
- During the flight to Watertown, we faced headwinds and flew to 8000 feet.
- During the flight to South Jersey, the cloud layer made us fly lower at about 5500 feet.
Here are a few photos from our flight up to Watertown:
In all, it was a lot of fun.
Other Flying Posts:
Question for you: Have you ever privately flown?
Before joining the Air Force, my husband got his privates pilot license. Then a few years ago, he became an instructor so he is able to teach people how to fly (yes, even you!).
While we didn’t fly as much last year, we do privately fly together from time to time. A couple of weeks ago, we decided to fly to my 250th diner. It wasn’t because the diner was special or even that we couldn’t just drive there, but it’s fun to fly.
Like running, sometimes private flying is more about the journey than the destination. When we flew, it was windy and turbulent. In fact, when we made the approach into Essex County Airport, we had to change runways because it was too turbulant to land from the direction we were coming. Unlike commercial flying, private flying isn’t quiet. You hear a lot of things.
This was one of our shorter flights and it was nice to get a scenic view of all of western NJ.
It was a lot of fun. It will be a while until we get to fly again but I can’t wait. I always tell people, that the plane we fly in can fit four people so if you are local and interested, you’re always welcome (no one seems to take me up on it!).
Other Flying Posts:
Questions for you:
Do you like flying?
Have you ever been private flying before?