3 posts categorized ‘Ownership’

Selling my Cessna 150 – It Was Like Losing a Family Member

When people tell me that their pets are like part of the family, it takes everything I have not to scoff at them.  I have had numerous pets, mostly cats and dogs, in my life, and I have never had such an attachment as to consider them part of the family.  As strange as it may sound, after having sold my airplane I think I now know how they feel.

Watching someone else take off and fly away in my airplane was enough to bring a tear to my eye.  I wanted to run after it while it was taxiing prior to takeoff.  I contemplated running onto the runway, jumping, and grabbing the landing gear just as it took off.  Luckily common sense prevailed, so I’m still alive today and with my freedom as well.

Selling my Cessna 150 was definitely the right thing to do.  My wife and I were starting a family, paying off student loans, remodeling a house, and saving for a new house.  We were at a time in our lives where we had to really buckle down, and that meant selling the airplane and severely cutting back on expenses… even flying.

Two children and a span of 4 years without flying later we definitely made the right decision.  Not only did the money from the sale and extra cash flow help, but as a family of 4, the 150 just wasn’t going to be big enough.

From time to time I look up its N-Number just to make sure it is still safe.  The last time I checked, it was living in Kentucky.  Since that isn’t too far I contemplated calling the new owner to see if I could fly down and see it one more time.  Alas, the pain of our separation is still too great.  I decided I didn’t want to have to relive the pain of leaving “my” airplane behind when it was time to leave.

One of the things that has always helped me deal with the loss of a pet, and probably the biggest reason I don’t consider them part of the family, is that after they are gone, they are replaced.  Sure my long time companion might be gone when fido passes away, but that sadness is replaced by the joy of a new puppy.

Not only was I not able to replace my airplane after selling it, but I don’t see a new airplane in my near future.  We are still remodeling the current house and saving for a new one.  Maybe in another 5 years when we hope to buy or build our new house, we’ll be able to review our budget and save for a replacement airplane.  That is my hope for now at least.

In the meantime, I’ll continue renting a Cessna 172, and dreaming of the day we can welcome a new (to us) airplane into our family.

Cheating on My 150

Some friends who are non pilots wanted to go to Sporty’s pilot shop.  While they are both non pilots, they are both aviation enthusiasts.  Not wanting to let them down, I offered to fly them there.

They lived close to AOH, so I decided to rent the Cessna 172 from there.  Even though AOH is roughly the same distance from my house as OWX, I decided to drive to OWX and fly my Cessna 150 from OWX to AOH to rent the airplane.

While I had rented airplanes from AOH plenty of times in the past, this was the first time that I pulled up to the building in an airplane rather than a car to rent an airplane.  It was kind of strange seeing my bird on the ramp while I was preflighting the 172.

It almost felt like I was cheating on my 150 while we loaded up in the 172 and took off.  I kept telling myself that this was an irrational feeling since airplanes are just that… airplanes.  However, as I suspect most pilots do, I somehow had developed an emotional bond to that flying contraption that I continuously entrusted my life to.

We had a great flight down to Sporty’s, and while we were there we saw a lot of different airplanes, so my friends had a blast.  I even managed to keep my 150 out of my mind and enjoy the flight in the 172.

After we returned to AOH, I showed off my 150 to my friends.  When I first got into the 150 to fly home it felt strange since I had just flown a few hours in the 172; however, everything felt completely normal by the time I started the takeoff run.

Instead of flying straight home, I took some time to make up with my 150 by just going for a fun little flight.

That was the only time I have ever piloted two different airplanes in one day, and it was a neat experience.  I was familiar with both airplanes, but each one felt strange to me at first since I just came from the other.

Unfortunately since I had to sell my 150 (not because of the cheating… she forgave me for that) it will probably be quite a while before I experience something like that again.  Nevertheless it was a day I will never forget, and that is one of my favorite things about being a pilot.  Not only are airplanes flying machines, they are also great memory making machines.

How many different airplanes have you piloted in one day?  Anything more exciting than two small Cessnas?

Win an Airplane

If you dream of owning an airplane, but cannot afford to buy one, try winning one instead. Your odds might not be the greatest, but chances for some of these airplanes, don’t really cost much.

Perhaps the most well known airplane sweepstakes is the airplane given away by AOPA every year. All you need to do to enter is either become a new member or renew your membership. You can also get additional entries by signing up for auto-renewal, becoming a life member, etc. If you aren’t yet a member of AOPA, you really should consider it. In addition to the sweepstakes airplane, you also get a choice between two pretty good magazines.

EAA Airventure
Not to be outdone, EAA also has a sweepstakes airplane. Instead of tying the airplane sweepstakes to their membership, to win the EAA airplane, you donate money to the EAA sweepstakes. That money is then used to support numerous EAA programs.

Pilot Mag
If you want a magazine without the membership, but still want a chance to win an airplane, you need to check out Pilot Mag. This airplane sweepstakes is raffling off an airplane for just purchasing a one year subscription. Like AOPA there are additional things you can do to increase your odds as well.

One of the simplest ways to attempt to win an airplane is simply making your aviation related purchases from Sporty’s Pilot Shop. All orders give you one chance to win an airplane. If you are going to make the purchase anyway, why not do it through Sporty’s and try to win an airplane in the process?

Flight of the Phoenix Aviation Museum
The Flight of the Phoenix Aviation Museum is raffling off an airplane to help raise funds. Each ticket in the airplane raffle costs $50, but since only 1,100 tickets are being sold, your odds are better than any other sweepstakes airplane. Even if you don’t win, at least your money is going to a good cause.

1940 Museum
Not to be outdone, the 1940 Museum is also raffling off an airplane. Each ticket also costs $50, but for this raffle up to 2,500 tickets will be sold. Still your odds aren’t too bad, and your money is going to help the museum maintain our aviation history.

Faith Christian Church
I’m not sure what it is about Texas, but even a church in Texas is raffling off an airplane. Again the cost is $50 and proceeds support the Faith Christian Church Building Fund.

If you know of any airplane sweepstakes not listed here, let me know and I’ll be sure to add them. I love to know all the places I can attempt to win an airplane. If nothing else, at least we can dream of plane ownership.