And So It Begins…January 1, 2012
I was infected with the aviation bug long before I can remember. Like so many of us, my father was responsible for this transmission of infection. I suppose I should be angry with this vector as the disease has been responsible for countless thousands of dollars spent, hanger widows, and lost time… But then again, its been one hell of a ride.
I started flying back in 1995 with a quick 5 hour solo, but it wasn’t until 2008 that I really got to it in earnest. In 2011, a chance encounter with an aviation tax consultant put a bee in my bonnet about the possibility of purchasing an airplane, and by the early fall, was traveling in the pursuit of the right aircraft.
My research had led me to the conclusion that the perfect airplane for my kind of flying was the Cessna 180 Skywagon. It had the relative speed of a proper airplane, could haul a shitload, had a prolific STCs and mod-ability, was certified, was stone simple, had a tailwheel, and could operate very respectively off airport. I was sold.
I had some good mentors who counseled me to be patient, look at as many aircraft as possible, and not to be afraid to travel for the right one… And so I did. Colorado, Michigan, Illinois, New Jersey, back to Colorado… I was starting to get the feel for the make.
After a solid 3 months of viewing airplanes around the country, I finally thought I had found the perfect airplane outside of Denver. It was a 1969 180 H model that already had all the bells and whistles installed. All I would have to do is fly it.
With a P&S drafted and a deposit ready to be sent, I was ready to go… Except a chance encounter with a small black and white advert caught my eye. I was on the road for a job, and my trip home was going to take me right by the little grass strip where the airplane was. It was a bone stock 1952 Cessna 170B and I was smitten. Something about that round tail I think… After a couple of hours of inspection, I made an offer, and a few of days later I was on my way home with the new bird.
Over the next 12 months I became baptized by the 100 series Cessna, learned why the C170 is such an amazing airplane, and then learned that no matter what you do or how much money you throw at it, it will never be a Skywagon… But that’s O.K.