A conversation

Recently I had some difficulty in using my plotter on the aeronautical charts. I am a student pilot and making these calculations is mandatory even though there are electronic means to the same end. During the learning process we went over all of my flight planning and picked up and corrected a couple of errors.

I was attempting to plan a flight to the southern tier, but I picked one of the worst destinations with many obstacles that makes it unsafe. In a go/no-go situation, I have to say no-go. Nonetheless, it was eye opening. What I thought was a simple 150 mile flight was much more than that. Then another pilot stopped in. He joked that he and the Wright Brothers were friends. He showed me how important knowing how the E6B flight computer or “whiz wheel” really was even in the age of glass cockpits. I most certainly have a ton of work to do still. I only planning in VFR (visual flight rules) and a lot of that requires pilotage and dead reckoning. I enjoy this type of flying, and I am happy to know how to read a chart.

Afterwards the instructor asked me if I could help him change out the bar tires on the large John Deere for turf tires as mowing reason is rapidly approaching. Just a little work. Got a sweat going and he’s one step closer to hopefully a few months of green grass.

Afterwards, we drank a bottle of water and two guys had a great conversation. We talked about anything and everything. We don’t know each other that well, and I discovered his deep passion for aviation. Back when he was a lad, you could start flying at 14. By the time he was 19 he had accumulated over 2400 hours. For those who don’t have a sense of that much time in the cockpit – it’s more than some people will tack on in their entire flying time over the earth. We touched on politics – he’s a democrat and I am a republican. I never really spent too much time on polysci stuff until a couple years ago. I notice much more now. We both found that friends have stopped associating with former friends over which party they belong to. This is not something real friends should stop being friends for. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

I thought it would be cool if students, owners, pilots could have an evening to get together and talk shop about aviation. He said they used to do it a lot. But, like many organizations and activities, these ad hoc group meetings seems to be going by the wayside. To me it’s a sad time. Social media has kept us connected perhaps, but at the same time, driven us into our homes. When I was a youth, people came to the door and we were usually excited to see had stopped by. If someone rings the doorbell now it “who the hell is at the door?”

United we stand, divided we fall. It sure seems in these tumultuous times we should be hanging out at each others houses more often. The “man cave” craze has inspired tons of men to custom build a room for just them and the fellas. Most people I know that have a room similar to this say it goes mostly unused.

I get it.

Having a room where you can display all of the things that bring you joy and reflections that may otherwise be boxed up because it doesn’t match the rest of the decor is now out on full display.

Today the man cave was the office at a small airport. It suited us just fine. We said cheers to a bottle of water and had great conversation even though we both openly had differences, but we also had common interests. It was very civilized and enjoyable. The afternoon and part of the evening flew by.

Try and invite people to a swaray, and not at a bar. Enjoy the conversation, agree to disagree, Enjoy your friends – and the bonds that can be built.