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13601 Pioneer Trail

Eden Prairie, MN 55347


A lot has changed in 40 years. Welcome Back Rick!

The old saying about “It’s like riding a bike” in reference to being able to do something you may not have tried in a long time does apply to aviation!

I had the privilege of flying with Rick Marshall who earned his pilots license at the age of 17, then didn’t fly again for 40 years.  He thought it might take 20 or more hours to get back in the game, but after one flight I knew it wouldn’t take that long as I saw those skills acquired long ago quickly coming back.  I think I assisted him on the first landing, and maybe a little on the second landing, but after that I don’t think I touched the controls other than to demonstrate tasks that he hadn’t practiced in decades.

Radio communications was his biggest challenge, having not flown at a busy towered field very much during his original training.  But that skill came with a little practice both on the ground and in the air.  Over the course of five or so lessons we reviewed all the core airman tasks required by the FAA’s current Practical Test Standards. We visited multiple uncontrolled fields as he learned the new art of GPS navigation in addition to brushing up on old-school VOR navigation.

On the ground we spent a couple of hours reviewing regulatory changes that have occurred over the past 40 years, including airspace, new airport signage, etc. He also learned to use the latest and greatest technology tools available to pilots today. He is now setup for flight planning on his iPad, including doing weight and balance calculations with the leading apps for those tasks.

Congratulation, Rick, on your return to the sky!  Fly safe!                        (Story by Loren Jones)

Category : Activities

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