No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

54 Replies

No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Meghan Custer on Apr 26, 2017 10:44 am

We absolutely love reading stories from pilots who recently completed their flight review after a long hiatus from flying. Just last week we heard from a pilot who attended a Rusty Pilots seminar in December 2016 - he was proud to report that he received his Flight Review endorsement on April 22, 2017 - after more than 10 years away from the cockpit! Are there any other pilots out there who have recently completed their flight review after a long break?
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Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Jeremy Robinson on May 2, 2017 3:45 am

Prior to attending the Rusty Pilots seminar at the Bremerton Fly-In last summer, my last flight was on September 2, 2001.  Work and a new family put flying on hold, but heath issues sidelined me permananently (or so I thought).  The aeromedical staff at the AOPA booth explained that I could get my medical back, and walked me through the steps.  After 6 hours of flight instruction, I completed my first BFR, on September 15th.  That's 16 years, 2 weeks since my last flight.

​I only wish I could have joined you all in Camarillo.

Thank you Meghan & Chris.
-Jeremy

Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Meghan Custer on May 2, 2017 3:52 pm

WOW! 16 years, that's certainly something to celebrate! It's just like riding a bike, right?

Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Jerry Sterner on May 22, 2017 3:31 pm

I quit flying and sold my plane (Luscombe) in 1965 so I could go racing, couldn't afford both. In 2013 after I had been retired a few years I decided to bite the bullet and start over. That is when I found out my PPL certificate was still good. I just had to get a current medical and get checked out to rent. I was ready to solo after about 8 hrs. If I had known I probably have started over when I retired in 2002, oh well. :-)

               Jerry Sterner

Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Michael Gross on May 25, 2017 12:02 pm

I started flying in 1988 taking lessons in a rented Grumman Lynx. After getting my private I bought a Yankee,  which I flew a few years. I sold it plannig to upgrade to a 4 seater, which didn't happen. I rented a few years until they became unavailable. As I got older I was concerned about the physical, although I didn't have any obvious defects. I started looking at aircraft about a year ago, didn't find wahat I wanted. Then I guess the stars alined The basic med came out, I found a Grumman Cheetah, And the rusty pilots program. I went to Indy Executive airport and Ted Spitzmiller did a great job. I got my phisical a few days before the seminar and my flight review a few days after, bought the Cheetah and am back in the air, after about 7 years.

Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Ted Spitzmiller on May 29, 2017 9:19 am

It is stories like Michael's that get me pumped up for presenting the Rusty Pilot Seminar. It is a real pleasure and priviledge to get out among the pilot community every few weeks and share my knowledge and enthusiasm. Looking forward to Brainerd, MN next Saturday June 3rd.
Ted

Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Nils Pearson on May 29, 2017 10:31 am

Kind of Rusty: I only flew 28 hours between 1994 and 2016. In April of '16 I  bought a '75 Cessna 180 Skywagon (my third 180 in 40 years). I put about 125 hours on her this first year with trips from home base of Venice, Florida to Maryland several times, the Carolinas, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Planning to travel to NW Washington, Canada and points inbetween in August as well as to Texas and the Midwest on October.
The most difficult adjustment was to learn about all the new avionics using a Garmin 530W, Foreflight on an iPad, and negotiating the TFRs.

Nils Pearson
AOPA #503491

Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Meghan Custer on May 30, 2017 9:04 am

Michael Gross:
 Then I guess the stars alined The basic med came out, I found a Grumman Cheetah, And the rusty pilots program. I went to Indy Executive airport and Ted Spitzmiller did a great job. I got my phisical a few days before the seminar and my flight review a few days after, bought the Cheetah and am back in the air, after about 7 years.

Michael, that is so great to hear! It really empowers our team when we hear from pilots who have been able to take advantage of both Basic Med and the Rusty Pilots program to get back into the air - no matter how long it has been. Thank you for sharing your story :)

Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Carol Dodds on May 30, 2017 9:48 am

Wow, you're putting some serious hours on that Skywagon. Terrific...welcome back!

Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Samuel Parsons on May 30, 2017 1:50 pm

My rust is thick, I stopped flying in the mid nineties when the negative correlation with my bank account became painfully obvious. Now the finances have been blessed and after a Rusty Pilot seminar I am on my way again. First BIG obstacle was getting my medical back. Fifteen years ago, as a normal part of aging I developed high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat and a skin melanoma.  The BP is under control with standard meds so that was reasonable to deal with. The melanoma took some effort to get the medical records necessary to show it was removed in situ with <.05 mm depth but once that was dealt with the irregular heartbeat from 15 years ago was challenging and expensive to resolve. My general practitioner and my Cardiologist in New Jersey both had discarded my records (I moved to Florida four years ago) and I guess these physicians decided just to ditch my records. So in order to prove to the Oklahoma City FAA Med staff that I was healthy, I had to have a 24 hr halter monitor, a resting ECG, a stress test ECG and an Echocardiogram done to the tune of $660.00. But, to the FAA's credit, once I had the documented evidense of normal heart health I received my 3rd class medical. Whew! Now I am studying up on gliders as I never felt that my stick and rudder skills were that good. My plan is to get a Glider rating and have that serve as my biennial flight review. So I am working on a Sporty's course on the Glider Rating and looking at Glider clubs. There are two in Central Florida both about an hour from me but I will spend next weekend hanging out at each one and see if I can discern where I want to spend the hard earned cash. Once I get the rust knocked off the stick & rudder skills I will probably start on an instrument rating in powered aircraft...unless the soaring bug bites hard.

Hopefully your path back on the medical front will be easier.

Sam Parsons

Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Glenn Niesen on Jun 5, 2017 8:59 am

I started my flight training back in 1983 shortly after my 17th birthday and got my license 10 months later after graduating high school.  I flew pretty regularly through 1991.  At that time, my fiance and I were planning our wedding, and with no money to speak of, flying became a very low priority.  Without it being a high priority, my medical and my currency fell out of date.

Even though I hadn't flown, I joined the WINGS program and still went to seminars and webinars.  In the fall of 2015 I attended an AOPA (ASI) seminar and found out about the Rusty Pilot program.  A friend of mine who was there, who was a pilot because of me, told me, under very stern terms, that I needed to sign up!!  In the spring of 2016, after additional prodding from my wife and daughter, I drove four hours and attended a seminar presented by Jamie Beckett, with my friend in tow to keep me company for the long trip.

Later that summer, after almost 25 years, I took my first flight and got signed off on my BFR in under 10 hours of flight time.  Since then, I've gone full steam into flying and recently completed my complex endorsement training.  My goal is to finally get my instrument rating.  I'd really like to keep going and get my commercial rating as well as buy my own airplane.  (Gotta have those dreams!!)