Yikes... time flies. And it seems that time flies more than I do.
It's somehow been 35 years since I sold my Super Decathlon (model 8KCAB s/n 540-79 N5041U). For about 10 years after that, I didn't fly at all. But now and then I get checked out in a rental plane at the Longmont airport. So far nothing major has fallen off of the rental planes, and it's fun to go flying now and then, but the cost has become prohibitive.
Over the past 40 years I've enjoyed a lot of hours of basic aerobatics, and mountain flying in Colorado. I certainly don't want to work hard enough to get into competition aerobatics again, and I'm probably getting too old to learn new tricks, so any flying I do now is just for the fun of it.
My fascination with flying airplanes all began a few days before Christmas in 1979, when someone knocked on my door, asking for donations for flying missionaries in Central and South America. As he described their challenging missionary flights in the mountains and landings in jungle clearings, it kindled a sudden whim in me to become a pilot. So I gave him a nice donation in return for the exciting idea, and the week after Christmas I began taking flying lessons. I received my Private Pilot Certificate a few months later.
I learned to fly in a Grumman Cheetah, a delightful airplane which handled like a sky-worthy sports car. Very light on the controls, very responsive and overall very sporty.
Aerobatics was so much fun that I bought my own aerobatic plane. That was great fun! Here's a photo of my Super Decathlon while waiting for fuel in Glenwood Springs, Colorado:
Cruising around in the Colorado mountains:
Over the years I've rented a variety of aircraft, including Grumman Cheetah, Grumman Tiger, Cessna 172, Cessna 182, Pitts S1, Bellanca Citabria, Bellanca Super Decathlon, Great Lakes 2T-1A bi-plane and a fun little Taylorcraft F19.
Cruising at about 14,000 ft over Forest lakes, near Corona Pass, west of Nederland, Colorado:
Flying up close and personal around Longs Peak and Mount Meeker, south of Estes Park, Colorado: