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4 Lessons from a Deferred Medical

Well, I've hung up my headset.

At least for the time being. You see, I've had my medical deferred.

Yup - I got a deferred medical due to hypothyroidism, meaning my thyroid gland does not work as well as it should, and I have to take a daily pill to keep my metabolism and other functions up to speed.

AME Clipboard

My Deferred Medical Story Begins

A not awesome combination of factors collided to cause this deferred medical situation - most of which were my own fault. I had been on the same dose of the medicine I take for hypothyroidism - levothyroxine 112mcg - for several years with no change, so I assumed all was well before my medical came due in July. I also procrastinated on scheduling my medical appointment, so that I ended up going in early in August, after my medical had expired. I can't blame anyone but myself for that. Oh, yeah - I also had not gone in to see my eye doctor in over a year - again - my prescription had not changed in several years.

So when I went in to the Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) for my appointment, I was unprepared to leave with a deferred medical... I had always gotten it without any problems before. Last time, shortly after my hypothyroism diagnosis, I even got a first-class medical, with no info from my doctor or anything regarding the diagnosis. I feel like I should mention that for convenience, I went to a different AME this time, (I work about 10 minutes from the new AME, but at least 30 minutes from the old one).

Let me also add that, only about two weeks prior to my medical appointment, I had my blood drawn to check my thyroid levels at my family physician - and my prescription did need to change. I guess that was my first indication that we might have a problem.

And a problem we did have. I left the AME with a deferred medical and instructions to get a letter from my family physician that included specific information and wording regarding my hypothyroid condition, and to include a copy of my most recent (within the past 90 days) labs. Since my thyroid was out of "normal" range (hence my dosage changing), the AME couldn't approve my medical there, we had to defer to the FAA (gulp). Additionally, my vision was not 20/20, so I had to do a third class and not a second class medical. Fortunately, I can continue to instruct with a third class medical, once I get approval from the FAA.

So third class medical, deferred to the FAA's Office of Aeospace Medicine. The AME told me to expect a letter from the FAA in a couple of weeks, telling me what I need to submit to them to receive my medical - most likely it would be a continuance of the deferred medical for up to 30 days to give time to prove my thyroid is back in normal range. As long as I keep in touch with the FAA Aeromedical Division - in writing - the deferral can be continued if necessary. This is good, since thyroid medication can take up to six weeks to really take effect, and there is no guarantee that my new dose will be correct initially - it may need to be raised again after my next blood draw and lab results.

Worst-case scenario, I was told, would be that I would be notified that I have to do a special issuance now - and the communication from the FAA will include numerous other bits of medical information and tests that I will have to supply to them. I'm still waiting to hear which it will be...

Now What?

Leaving the AME's office in a sort of daze, my mind immediately flipped to "What happens to my students now that I have a deferred medical?"

I currently only have three active students, so it's not as if I have many to find new instructors for, but will other instructors have the time and capacity to take my students on, at whatever level they are at now? I had one student who had just soloed, one who was probably going to solo on our next lesson, and one who was still just starting and very early on.

Fortunately, aviation people are awesome, and there was no problem finding good instructors who I trust to take my students. I happened to be teaching a Discover Aviation course the following weekend at The Ohio State University, so I asked my two OSU Flight Training Clinic students to come to that class so we could talk before &/or after the class.

My newest student requested the instructor who had taught her ground school, and he was able to take her, so that worked out very well. My student nearly ready to solo was taken on by another Flight Training Clinic instructor as well, so they were covered. My student at Capital City Jet Center at Bolton Field airport (KTZR) was taken on by another fantastic instructor there, so it did not take long before all my students were covered by new instructors.

I do fully expect to get my medical back, and I do want my students back, as I really feel that I have a connection with my current students. Naturally, I told all of my students that I would love to have them back once my deferred medical is re-issued, but that I would not be offended if they chose to stay with their new instructors instead.

So this medical situation was doubly painful, as not only do I not get to fly, I also don't get to see my students for the time being!

Important Lessons

Oh my goodness, there are just so many things to learn here. PLEASE PLEASE learn from my mistakes and don't make them on your own. It is depressing and scary and nerve-wracking.

Lesson 1: Know whether any medical condition you have might affect your medical certification.

I should have taken advantage of AOPA's medical service to find out whether my hypothyroidism might be an issue. If you have any kind of medical issue or take a prescription of any kind regularly, KNOW WHETHER IT WILL AFFECT YOUR MEDICAL APPLICATION. Once you know, you can continue to follow up on it and do your best to make sure all is in order when you visit your AME to renew your medical.

If I had it to do over, I would have had my blood draw and labs done with my family doctor at least 90 days prior to visiting my AME. That way I would have known earlier that my labs were out of bounds, and would have had a little bit of time to get it corrected and possibly have avoided the whole deferred medical situation.

Lesson 2: Don't wait until the last minute to schedule your appointment with your Aviation Medical Examiner.

I am still kicking myself for waiting until mid-July to schedule with my AME when my medical expired at the end of the same month. I told myself that it would all be fine, since nothing had changed since my last medical. I told myself that it was silly to renew before the month it was due in - that would be like losing months and money in paying for it early, and hence allowing it to expire earlier. Is that logical? I sure am paying for it now by losing students, pay, and even the ability for me to fly myself at all. Ugh.

Lesson 3: Don't fall behind on ANY Of your medical appointments.

Just get yourself in the habit of always staying up-to-date on your medical stuff. Get your eyes checked yearly. See your family doctor for a basic checkup at least once per year. Go to the dentist every six months (whether you floss or not). Just KEEP UP WITH IT! It will give you an earlier indication of whether there might be an issue, and you can start researching and fixing whatever might come up before it causes a deferred medical, a special issuance, or worse - a denied medical!

Life After Flight

It can't be helped, I beleive, to start thinking about what you might do as a pilot if you all of a sudden can't fly anymore for some reason.

That was the second thing that started running through my head - after worrying about getting my students covered - "What am I going to do with myself if I can't legally fly anymore?"

I would continue to instruct, though it would be in simulators and doing ground schools. I would also hold myself out to commercial students, since they would be legal to fly as PIC, I could still instruct them, and be able to get in the air. Also, I hope that I have made some good friends in aviation over the years who might be willing to suffer me in an extra seat once in awhile.

I might get into RC flying. I might try ultralights or hot air baloons or gliders. I might try hang gliding. I might attach helium baloons to a lawn chair. I might spend more time on Flight Simulator X.

I WILL spend more time with my family and less time at the airport. I will learn to do some computer / website programming. I'll do some more internet business work a la Pat Flynn and Jason & Jeremy of Internet Business Mastery. I'll learn more about copywriting and do some of that on the side.

Youngest Daughter

Where my time will go while I'm not flying...

The point is, I'll live. I'll stay involved in aviation as I am able to, but I'll do some other things I am interested in, too.

Lesson 4: Have other interests!

If your entire life is focused on aviation, it can be incredibly depressing and frightening when aviation is taken away from you by a deferred medical (or, god forbid, a denied medical). Cultivate some other passions and interests, and - as they would say in investing circles - diversify. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Create a backup plan.

I'm lucky - I have a 9-5 job that is in aviation, and I instruct on evenings and weekends. It is not the end of the world for me to have a deferred medical. And while I fully intend to get it back - and I honestly believe that I will - this has been eye opening for me as a process and as a possibility.

Moving Forward

This thread will continue, as I hope to interview some people who have had deferred medical issues and have beaten them and ended up getting their medical, as well as some people who have lost their medicals and have survived and thrived. If you are one of those people and want to tell your story, please let me know. The great folks who make up the Blogging in Formation team have offered a few names of people who might be interested, but I'd like to hear from anyone else who reads this and has some input or a point of view on this to please speak up in the comments or contact me so we can talk and I can keep this discussion going!


Andrew Hartley IS a certificated flight instructor and commercial pilot in Columbus, Ohio. He WAS medically certified until this month. He WILL be medically certified again - whatever it takes.

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Blogging in Formation – Consider Ownership

For this month's Blogging in Formation series, we formation bloggers are guest-posting on each other's blogs, just to shake things up a little.  Smart Flight Training has the honor of hosting iFlyBlog's Brent Owens.  Enjoy the read... I certainly did!

 

Ercoupe Co-Ownership

photo of the author sitting in his 1946 Ercoupe with his partners (1994)

Here we are at the beginning of May and winter has finally released its firm grip and we can really focus on getting out there and enjoying our passion of flying.

I love May because it ushers in the air show and fly-in season for much of the Northern Hemisphere. From this point forth there will be a lot of folks burning AvGas from now until late fall.

So with that in mind, it might be time to think about abandoning the rental game and become a full-fledged airplane owner.

It might seem like a daunting task, but it’s really not rocket science. It comes down to a few simple questions and a little bit of homework.

Let’s walk through it.

The first and most important step is to know what you plan to do with the airplane. You need to be really honest with yourself on this. Do you just fly locally or do you need a full-IFR cross country family wagon? Do you want to do aerobatics? Do love going fast or does low-n-slow sound more appealing?

Your budget will drive some of this decision-making. You might really want a fast XC machine, but if the budget won’t allow you might shift gears go a completely different direction. If the budget is a concern you can also consider partnerships. Co-ownership can really make the cost of ownership a lot easier to swallow.

So with mission and budget settled, the fun part begins. This is the hunt for the machine that fits these two parameters.

I could spend hours (or days) looking through Trade-a-Plane or Barnstormers.com. As you narrow in on what you want, you need to get forensic with your research. This will keep you from purchasing a lemon.

After you have settled on the Make/Model and you know what to look for and what to ask, it’s time to get serious and create a short list of airplanes for sale that you’ll actually inquire about.

That list will vet down to less than a half dozen final candidates that you might go see in person.

If you are pretty sure you are going to purchase a particular airplane, it gets more detailed. You need to do a pre-purchase inspection (including all the aircraft documentation), do final negotiations on price, draw up a sales contract (optional), complete the bill-of-sale, arrange for getting it home, register the airplane with the FAA and your home state, and get trained to fly it. AOPA has an excellent guide with all the details here: https://www.aopa.org/Pilot-Resources/Aircraft-Ownership/Tips-on-Buying-Used-Aircraft.aspx

Seems like a lot of stuff, but it’s not as hard as it looks.

Wouldn’t you love to start out the summer right with a nice airplane at the airport waiting for you to jump in at a whim and go flying?

Have a great flying season!

By Brent Owens

 


Brent: Thanks for the great post! I know I have considered getting together a small group of pilots and buying something like a Cherokee 180 or Cessna Skylane - a good training platform for private & instrument, but also something that can be used for long weekend trips. It's been a dream of mine for a long time to own a plane - even if it means I have to share it!

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Solo – A Blogging in Formation Post

Tailwheel

What does it mean to solo?

14 CFR Part 61.51(d): ...a pilot may log as solo flight time only that flight time when the pilot is the sole occupant of the aircraft.

Like all of the Federal Aviation Regulations, the above is an incredbly dry statement. It defines when you may log solo flight, which is an important step to obtaining your pilot certificate.

There are lots of other regulations pertaining to solo, defining even further what solo flight means to the FAA, to your instructor, and to you:

61.51(e)(4)(ii) states that you must have a current solo flight endorsement (as laid out in part 61.87). Got that?  Good.

61.51(i)(2) lays out what you must carry with you when you solo as a student pilot during cross-country flights: your logbook and your student pilot certificate/medical (and any other record required by that section of the regulations).  Got them all?  Fantastic.

61.87 lays out all the things you must do before solo to even be eligible to solo in the first place:

  • demonstrate satisfactory knowledge on a knowledge test given by your instructor
  • review any incorrect answers from the test
  • receive and log training in certain maneuvers
    • surface operations including taxiing & runup
    • normal & crosswind takeoffs and landings
    • straight & level flight and turns in both directions
    • climbs & climbing turns
    • traffic pattern procedures, including entry & departure
    • collision avoidance, windshear avoidance, and wake turbulance avoidance
    • descents (turning & not turning) in high- and low-drag configurations
    • flight at various airspeeds
    • stall recognition, avoidance, and recovery
    • emergency procedures
    • ground reference maneuvers
    • approaches to landing with simulated engine malfunctions
    • slips to land
    • go-arounds
  • You must have received an endorsement on your student pilot certificate to solo the specific make and model of your aircraft from your instructor
  • You must have received an endorsement in your logbook to solo from an instructor who has given you the above instruction within the last 90 days
  • etc. etc. and on and on - you have to know these regulations, as they define precisely what solo flight is and when you can legally perform solo flight.

And that is that, right?  That's what solo flight is - a flight by a person who meets all the above criteria and is the sole occupant of an aircraft during flight.

But does that truly answer the question of what it MEANS to solo?

Aviation has a knack for knocking the wind out of its participants with all the limitations and restrictions and constraints and conditions that the regulations lay out for everyone who wants to set foot in an airplane and leave the ground.

But there's a reason, I think, that the word solo was chosen to be used for the first time a person flies sans instructor, and it is not simply because the dictionary defines it as "a thing done by one person unaccompanied, in particular;" which, of course, it is.

But solo also has a beautiful connotation in the arts - music and dance, in particular, where a dancer or musician or singer steps away from all the others who have been there alongside for that song, that concerto, that period, and - on their own - does something beautiful.

Unaccompanied.

Notice I have not said "alone." A solo of a musician is not them alone, but is a piece of a larger composition. The solo stands out BECAUSE it is related to the rest of the dance or the song, not because it is separate from it.  The solo artist takes courage from the other artists who have helped support her up until that point, and she steps out on her own but not alone to add her voice, her motion, her music to the overall piece.

All the months and years of practice shape the artist to be ready and able to make that step - and so it is as a pilot.

The hours you have studied and practiced with your instructor have led you to this point, where you get to step out - on your own but not alone - and take flight.

Unaccompanied.

And like the solo artist, you - the solo pilot - know the technical pieces (as the musician knows the fingering of his instrument or the dancer the placement of his limbs for balance, you know the power settings and sight picture of your instrument - the airplane). You play the throttle to get the hum of the engine you are familiar with, and set your pitch to get the perfect balance of airspeed and lift and hear the exact right tone of the wind over the wings.

You are an artist of the air, and while you know all the regulations that got you to this point, right now you are simply free, and flying, as it should be. The checklists run through your head, and the crosswind component for your runway is in your mind, and you're thinking "red over white" as you slide down the glidepath on final approach, but your heart is beating faster than ever, and you can't wipe the smile off your face, because this feeling is like nothing you've ever felt.  The safety net is gone, and you've never been more nervous, or scared, or READY for anything in your life.

And maybe you miss a note, or place your foot wrong and slip a little, or forget a word. But that bounced landing was YOUR landing - and whether you believed your instructor when she said "That was all you" is immaterial now, because that WAS all you, and whether it was bounced or beautiful, it was YOUR landing and no one can take it away from you. Because your supporting artists are all down there, and you are up here, on your own.

Unaccompanied.

So I'll leave you with this, Captain:

Aviation loves to boast about the individualistic nature of its participants. Solo makes it sound like you finally got away from everyone else and did this thing alone. But that is as far from true as it gets.  You got here through the help of your instructor and other pilots who encouraged you, motivated you, and rooted for you (whether you knew it or not).

For all the independent, self-reliant, individualist image aviation puts out there, we really rely on one another, and want to see each other succeed.  We are an incredibly helpful and supportive family, we aviators.  You might be solo, but you're never alone.

Just unaccompanied - sometimes.

 


This is a Blogging in Formation post. Check out the rest of the Formation Bloggers in this month's series: "Solo."

April 1:
Andrew Hartley - Smart Flight TrainingBlogFormation_Wings
Karlene Petitt - Flight to Success - Near Midair!
April 2:
Rob Burgon - Tally One
Chip Shanle - Project 7 Alpha
April 3:
Eric Auxier - Adventures of Cap’n Aux
Ron Rapp - House of Rapp
April 4:
Brent Owens - iFLYblog
Mark L Berry - marklberry.com/blog

If you like what you see, share us with your friends: #blogformation

 

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My Most Memorable Passenger – A Blogging in Formation Post

This month's Blogging in Formation topic is "Dealing with Passengers."

As a flight instructor, most of my "passengers" are not passengers, at least not as that is normally defined. My passengers are actively learning to fly, and to - over time - become NOT passengers but pilots.

So I don't have as much experience with passengers as many of the other formation bloggers, but I do have a very memorable passenger who I would like to talk about in today's post: my daughter, Wynnie!

Airplane Kids

Wynnie is two and a half years old, and I was recently able to take her (and her two cousins) up for their first flight.

Her cousins are five and three, and all three of them really enjoyed their first flight!

It was a very simple flight - we took off from KOSU (The Ohio State University Airport), turned north, and flew circles low over the Columbus Zoo (one of the places all the kids love to visit).

All three of the kids loved the flight!

What was most interesting to me was that getting them in the plane was not just about their first flight and whether they would like it, but their reactions and behavior during the flight was eye-opening for me, as well!

Wynnie In Plane

It was very interesting to see Wynnie's personality emerge (or amplify) in her carseat in the back of the C172.

At first, on the way to the zoo, Wynnie was stoic. Looking straight ahead, there was no emotion on her face. When I turned around and asked her if she was having fun, her face lit up! "Yes!" she said, beaming.

Then her face went right back to the poker-face she had on before.

She looked out the window as we banked around the zoo and over the river, as did her cousins, whose reactions were no less telling then hers.  You could see the logic and passion and curiosity come alive in all three of them, in differing degrees.

Notwithstanding her stoicism, my wife and I joke that Wynnie is definitely my daughter, since the flying bug has bitten her as early and as strongly as it did me. She has the "pilot's curse" of having to look up and locate every aircraft we hear as it flies above.

Andrew and Kids

When we visited my father-in-law in Raleigh, North Carolina, we also went to visit a nearby airport in the hopes that we would fly in (in a couple hours) instead of driving in (about 10-hours on the road). When we got near the airport, a plane was holding short of the runway for takeoff, and Wynnie said "That's Daddy's airplane! I'm so excited!"

We talked to a few people and looked around at the amenities.  Wynnie and Granddad watched airplanes for a bit, and then we started to get in the car to go.

Wynnie didn't want to go, because she thought we were going to go for an airplane ride. And when I say she didn't want to go, I mean she REALLY didn't want to go.  We're talking TOTAL MELTDOWN.  It took both my wife and me holding her down in her carseat to get her strapped in so we could finally leave, while I promised her that we would take lots more airplane rides, just not today.

I know how she feels. A girl after my own heart!

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Don't miss the rest of the Blogging in Formation posts:

BlogFormation_WingsMarch 1: Saturday:
Brent Owens -  iFLYblog
Mark L Berry - marklberry.com/blog

March 2: Sunday:
Andrew Hartley - Smart Flight Training
Rob Burgon - http://tallyone.com

March 3: Monday:
Karlene Petitt - Flight to Success
Chip Shanle - www.project7alpha.com

March 4: Tuesday:
Eric Auxier - Adventures of Cap’n Aux
Ron Rapp - House of Rapp

If you like what you see, share us with your friends: #blogformation

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12 Aviation Resolutions – A Blogging in Formation Post

This is installment nine of the Blogging in Formation Series, a monthly series where six big-time aviation bloggers put their heads (and blogs) together and post about the same topic, each in their own special way.

fireworks

Ah, New Year's.

The time of year to suffer all the prediction posts about what will happen in the upcoming year. If you have been a follower of the Blogging in Formation series for any length of time, you are aware of my disdain for predictions.

So I'm not going to do one.

What I will do is suggest how you might choose your resolution(s) for 2014 - at least as they relate to aviation.

But first, let me give you my aviation resolutions for 2014:

  1. Complete my CFII (by March?)
  2. Blog more regularly (if it weren't for Blogging in Formation, I wouldn't have blogged at all the past few months)
  3. Podcast more consistently

Now they are out there and public! That should be even more motivation for me to follow through on all of them in 2014.

But what about you?

If you are reading this post and following the Blogging in Formation series, you are either a pilot or you would like to be a pilot!

With that in mind, I'd like to suggest 12 aviation resolutions - 1 for each month of the year of 2014.  You certainly don't have to do all of these, but what a fun challenge that might be - to do one of these suggested resolutions each month in 2014 (just print this post and use it as a checklist - you're familiar with checklists, yes?)!  Or simply choose one of these if you are having trouble deciding on your own aviation resolution for 2014:

    • If you are not a pilot yet - START YOUR TRAINING!Go out to your closest airport and talk to an instructor about starting (or finishing) your flight training. Set a goal to get through solo, or to complete a Sport Pilot Certificate, or Recreational Pilot Certificate, or even go all the way through the Private Pilot Certificate!

      If you are already a pilot - GET A NEW RATING!

      Start working on that instrument rating, or a Seaplane Rating, or Multi-Engine, or Glider, or Rotorcraft - you get the idea!

    • Simply set more time aside to fly!Do your best to at least stay current. Get your Flight Review done if you need to, and go get an instructor and practice landings at least once every ninety days! Don't fool yourself into thinking that this makes you proficient, but also take pride in being able to call yourself a "current pilot" - even if that is all you can manage!

 

    • The $100 Hamburger FlightThese days it might be a $250 hamburger, but the idea still stands. This resolution is one you could do twelve times throughout the year and still meet the spirit of the post. It might even help you meet resolution 2 if you do it consistently!

 

    • Fly a Different TypeIt's quite possible that you flew one type of airplane while getting your certificate - most likely a Cessna 172 Skyhawk. Go out and fly a new kind of plane! If all your training was in a high-wing, go out with an instructor (or another pilot who is familiar with the plane) in a low-wing. Or a glider. Or a helicopter. Or a high-performance/complex something. Get creative! Have fun!

 

  • Take someone on their first flightThere is nothing quite like taking someone on their first airplane ride - whether they love it or they vomit on final approach (both of these have happened to me on intro flights) it is an experience that you both will remember! Imagine the impact we could have in getting people interested in aviation if every pilot took up one new-to-flying person per year!

 

    • Shoot an instrument approachEven if you don't have an instrument rating, and even if you never plan on getting one, get with an instructor or another current and proficient instrument pilot and go shoot an approach. Breaking out of the grey and haze of the clouds and seeing an airport in front of you is nothing short of magic, and every pilot should experience this from the cockpit at least once in their career, even if the career is a hobby!

 

  • Give Back
    Join the Civil Air Patrol and fly as a mission pilot on search and rescue missions. Volunteer as a pilot for Air Care Alliance and fly medical patients to badly needed treatments. Or save animals from being euthanized by volunteering for Pilots-N-Paws and flying animals to no-kill shelters or to their new homes. Or choose from many of the other aviation charities out there!
  • Fly in to a Fly-In Breakfast (or lunch or dinner or Saturday at Sporty's for a free Hot Dog)
    Check out Social Flight or Google "Fly-Ins in [your area]" to find an airport that has this kind of activity scheduled and go! This is a great way to use your certificate for something other than flying the pattern or flying circles around your (or your friend's) house.
  • Fly to an unfamiliar airport
    This one can be combined with several of the others, but keeping yourself sharp by planning a flight, navigating to a new place, and finding that new airport that you have never been to before is not only valuable and ego-boosting - it's fun!
  • Take an actual vacation by airplane
    For all the talk of the utility of the airplane, I don't actually know very many people who have taken a plane to go on vacation once they have their pilots license and the ability to do so. So go take a long weekend with the family and fly somewhere you would not be able to go by car - whether that is simply a farther distance or a place that is difficult to get to by car, but not so difficult by airplane (I'm thinking backcountry out West)!
  • Fly into / out of a grass strip
    For some, this may be how they fly every time they go up, but for many pilots doing a soft-field takeoff or landing is a maneuver they have to demonstrate to get their certificate, but they will only ever do it from a concrete strip. Go out and do it for real - with an instructor or an experienced pilot who is familiar with turf operations, of course!
  • Aerobatics or Upset Recovery Training
    Take an aerobatic lesson or several. Complete an Upset Recovery Training course. Or just get an instructor and do some spin training! Any of these things will increase your comfort with the plane, will increase your skills and confidence as a pilot, and will make you safer. Not to mention they are a whole ton of fun!

 

So there you are! Take any or all of these suggested aviation resolutions and make a commitment to do them in 2014!

And let me add 1 more - read the other Blogging in Formation posts this month! We are trying out a new format: two bloggers a day, completing the series in three days instead of six. So go read Karlene's post today too! Here's this month's schedule:

Jan. 1: Smart Flight Training - Andrew Hartley & Flight to Success - Karlene Petitt
Jan. 2: House of Rapp - Ron Rap & Adventures of Cap’n Aux - Eric Auxier
Jan. 3: iFlyBlog - Brent Owens & Mark L. Berry


Andrew Hartley is a certificated flight instructor and commercial pilot in Columbus, Ohio. He hopes his new year's resolution to only say nice things about people isn't misinterpreted as a vow of silence.

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