My interest in aviation goes way back, but probably didn't really take off until I saw Top Gun in 1986.

Flight Training

On January 29, 2006, I took an introductory flight in a Cessna 172 - it was a Christmas present from my dear wife. I wrote about that experience in my blog, here. After a few months of other activities, including our vacation to Argentina, I started my training. On June 27 I took my first true lesson (though that hour in the 172 will count toward my certificate), in a Piper Warrior. Again I documented the experience in my blog. It is too early to make any general comments other than that this will be an expensive process, but no doubt worth it.


My first encounter with a flight simulator was on my Dad's Mac Plus sometime in the 80s. He had a copy of some early version of Microsoft's Flight Simulator. It was great fun, despite having to control a plane on a tiny monochrome screen using only a mouse. A small step up, or perhaps more to the side, was the F-16 Fighting Falcon simulator that was released for the Sega Master System. A flight simulator on a console? Just about. It was one of the few games Sega released on their credit-card size format, and my brother thought it was strange that I liked it so much. It used two controllers since one D-pad and 2 buttons just won't cut it for flying a plane. I even taped them together.

I didn't get back into flight simulators until fairly recently, and then more into the gamey variety. But a seed long ago planted started to sprout, as I became increasingly intrigued by the act of flying itself. Not so enraptured by the thrill of combat, I picked up a copy of Microsoft's current flight simulator (2000). Now I fly FS9 and some military sims, like Pacific Fighters and Falcon 4.0. The hobby got serious when I bought a complete set of CH Products flight controllers, and even more serious when I bought Rod Machado's private pilot training handbook.

N9284M, the Warrior I am currently flying in training.
N9284M, the Warrior I am currently flying in training.

N43434.  This is the plane I soloed in and did my cross country training in.
N43434. This is the plane I soloed in and did my cross country training in.

Matt's library

Stick and Rudder
by Wolfgang Langewiesche

The Luftwaffe War Diaries
by Cajus Bekker

Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering
by Robert L. Shaw

Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook
by Rod Machado