Monday, September 05, 2005

Plane Envy; Podcast Released

The IFR Pilot has owned his 172 (more precisely, shares of his 172) for about two years now. During that time, like most pilots, I've yearned for faster, more "capable" aircraft. Finances, and the reality that I fly mostly for fun and don't need the operating and maintenance expenses of anything beyond a 172, have dictated that the status quo remain as is.

Until today. No, race fans, the IFR Pilot didn't go out and purchase that brand new glass panel Mooney, Columbia, or Cirrus that I surely lust after (and will most certainly buy when I win the lottery).

Instead, I got a call from Angel Flight Central, looking for pilots with aircraft who could volunteer for three days to do relief flights in Western Louisiana and Eastern Texas.

Picture this:

IFR Pilot: "Great, I can go. Where do you want me and when."

Angel Flight representative: "What kind of plane do you have?"

"A Cessna 172."

"Is that a high performance aircraft?"

"Um, no. Why?"

"Right now, we are only seeking pilots with access to high performance or twin aircraft. We'll take your name and call you in a week or two if we still need help."

EXCUSE ME? I understand that you want to get as much out of every flight as possible, and I'll grant you that a high performance aircraft could probably carry a heavier load than my 172. But, I can still carry close to 500 pounds of people or cargo, more if I don't need a full load of fuel.

Why isn't that satisfactory? I'm willing to give of my time, and my money, and my airplane. I want to help, especially in light of the nearly six years that I lived in NOLA and the many friends that I have there.

Alas, finally I have an objective reason to justify that new purchase. All I need is the money. Or, does someone with not so much time want to loan me their high-performance aircraft for a week? I've got the endorsement, and will pay for the fuel myself....

* * *

On a separate note, the IFR Pilot's interview on the General Aviation Weekly podcast has been released. Check it out for yourself here (or here for a direct link to the mp3 file). Thanks, Keith.

1 comment:

John T said...

Join the club. :)

Even my C182 is "a little small for the mission profile" of Katrina relief flights I volunteered for. Oh well. I settled for donating money for fuel, instead.

Still, I'm not interested in spending the money right now for a bigger plane.