Since coming home to Colorado, I’ve been really active working on my Private Pilots License.

I try to fly twice a week, but it can be difficult to schedule a nanny, the plane, my instructor and the weather. It was difficult to book to fly in Washington because of the rain. Here in Colorado, it’s sometimes the wind. Though honestly, I’ve only had to be grounded (that is, I can’t fly) once due to winds.

I’ve joined Aspen Flying Club and it is a great school! It is so much more than just a place to learn to fly. They have events almost weekly, and just yesterday they were grilling burgers and invited me for lunch after my check ride! So for me, it feels like a flying family as well. They have a very large fleet of planes and several instructors. I am flying with Brian Barnett. He’s working towards his CFI II and wants to fly corporate jets.

I have finished my ground school training with King Schools Cessna Training online. I really enjoyed this method of ground school as I could study during Mac’s naps. It is full of training videos to tie back ground lessons to being in the air as well.

So what’s been noticeably fun about flying at KAPA (Centennial Airport)? Here they are in no particular order:

1. Being chased by a B-17

Yep, you read that right. Last weekend was a fly-in event where folks could take a ride in a B-17.

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I was flying over in the Centennial Southwest Practice area, just south of Chatfield Reservoir, when we caught sight of the big bomber heading straight towards us at our altitude. This wasn’t anything to panic over, but it was a little concerning. There is a radio frequency, 122.75, for the area so that planes practicing maneuvers can be aware of each other, and choose another practice area to avoid one another.

The bomber was not on frequency. I preformed avoidance maneuvers and found other empty airspace. It was ‘neat’ to see the bomber up close in the air, but I would’ve rather the B-17 been on frequency and aware of where we were too!

2. Landing on 35L when an F-16 is taking off on 35R.

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Centennial is one of the top 5 of the busiest airports in the nation, and we get to see some really cool planes come in and out. There were two F-16s on a cross country flight that stopped over at KAPA. Lucky me, I was practicing touch and goes on runway 35L when an F-16 was lining up for take off on the parallel runway. Cool!

(and yes, if you’re a pilot and understand the timing, I was delayed enough after the F-16 to avoid turbulence ;))

3 comments on “Fun in the Air #1 & #2

  • Hurricane,

    That appears to be the B17G 909 maintained by the Collings Foundation. They were in the SF Bay area a few weeks, and I did ride. A highly recommended experience

  • Alan Glennon was telling me how his wife gets all kinds of scholarships for her pilot training. Evidently there are organizations for women pilots that are hurting for new members. You should check into it…

    Alan also said that female private jet pilots make some serious dough. Evidently it’s one of the few fields where women out-earn men by a considerable margin. It’s the whole Octopussy thing… rich guys wanting a hot pilot.

  • Wow, I will look into it! I am considering continuing my education beyond PPL… Looks like a BBQ is in our future: you’ll have to introduce me to all these friends!

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