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.
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.