Saturday, January 28, 2006

 

Captain Wilko

One of the pleasures of flying is sharing the fellowship of other aviators. Opportunities abound for doing so, and range old-fashioned traditional flyins to the new fangled medium of the Internet. I've been an occasional poster on the message boards of iPilot.com since my PPL training days, and have met quite a few interesting characters. It's a fun (and addictive) way of keeping in touch with other airplane geeks. Only a few of those relationships have been face to face, but a few years ago, we managed to put together a New England area flyin. Turnout was light due to schedule conflicts, but we had a good lunch and a few hours of enjoyable hangar flying. One of the more colorful characters in attendance was a newly minted pilot named Mark, who goes by the online moniker of Captain Wilko.

The ink was still wet on his temporary airman's certificate when we met, but he has been progressing in his further training at an aggressive rate. A few months ago he decided to make a career change and enrolled in one of the professional flight academies. This month, he ships off for good, to spend the next few months learning the intricacies of instrument, multiengine, and commercial flying. An attempt was made to organize a farewell flyin, but schedules again kept the crowds away. Yellowbird and I did make it out to Bedford to give Mark our blessings, as well as one last hour of non-commercial flight.

Capt. WilkoI don't often have the opportunity to take other pilots aloft, but Mark and Yellowbird hit it off immediately, and he showed us some of his familiar neighborhood before heading back. He's easily the tallest person to have flown in the Yellowbird, but her large cabin provided more than enough room.

He'll be tracking his training progress in his own blog, called Flying Adventures. He writes as well as he flies, so drop by and cheer him along!

Update: As of mid-March, Mark has completed both his multiengine and instrument ratings. He now moves on to the more challenging aspects of commercial flying: namely, chatting it up with the flight attendants, and illuminating the "fasten seatbelts" sign. Keep up the good work Captain!

Comments:

Posted by Blogger Capt. Wilko at 11:53 PM, April 04, 2006  

Wow, a whole entry just for me? ;) That was a nice flight we took together, Scott, and I look forward to the next. Should be back in Massachusetts soon since they're ushering me to CFI school very very soon...


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