The Bag Lady needs a good crew- and YOU!

As promised we have hit the ground running after the first of the year. I have taken a much more serious approach to my health and getting my Type 2 Diabetes under control and my A1C glucose average down to below the maximum allowable percentage of 8.9. A couple of trips to the Flight Surgeon at the VA and some minor adjustments to my oral medication and it appears that things are back on track.

With over 10,000 flight hours it’s a little embarrassing to have to fly with an instructor while I wait for the FAA to re-issue my medical, but at least I get to fly and in the left seat too! Once I get cleared then I will be able to rent a plane again and fly solo to wherever I want to go. I took flying for granted and it wasn’t until that fateful wake up call over the summer when the Flight Surgeon said he couldn’t issue my medical right there and then because I had Diabetes that I have grown to re-appreciate the priveledge of being able to fly.

With all of that now being addressed, it’s just a waiting game for now, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a million other things that I could be doing to prepare for the flight. I have begun the search for crew and I completely recognize that this is probably going to be one of those things where you think it is going to be easy at first, but then realizing that finding the right person with the right qualifications and time to commit is actually very difficult. There is no shortage of people that “want” to be a part of PrideFlight2018 but being totally committed to it for the long haul, that’s another story.

The flight will take a year or more and will most likely entail leaving the plane in some foreign and exotic locale for short periods. It’s during these periods that some or all of the crew will have an opportunity to fly home to the states for a brief respite from the journey. Most likely there will be a rotation of co-pilots, navigators and engineers who will only fly certain legs of the flight before being relived by the second tier of crew. Me as the PIC (Pilot in Command) will fly every leg and there may be some crew that also stay with the flight for its entirety. Hopefully, over the next few weeks and months I will be able to find the right people for our crew and I can start including them in the flight planning process.

I am working hard to get the plane here in Indianapolis this summer and know that for some people, PrideFlight2018 wont become real until the DC3 is sitting on the ground here at home. We are launching a Kickstarter campaign in mid February and have already secured several corporate sponsors and will be issuing a joint press release with The Indy Bag Ladies and others ahead of the Kickstarter launch.

It is very important to me and this project that PrideFlight2018 serve as a source of community pride and that we welcome as many people who want to volunteer be able to participate in the preparation and planning of this flight. It will take many people from every walk of life and facet of our community to make this project a reality and ultimately a success and in the end this is a goodwill flight with no aspirations beyond showing what we as a community can do when we put our best efforts forward.

If you would like to know more or become a volunteer email me at dj@prideflight2018.com and be sure to like us on Facebook

Back in the left seat once again!

In the left seat once again!

After months of delays and some second-guessing on my part, I am feeling renewed in my effort to complete PrideFlight2018. I will admit that this past year threw some curve balls into the mix, but like with anything worth doing there are bound to be some setbacks, I get it. However, one of the most unexpected of those was the deferral of my class III medical certificate during my annual flight physical. In over 35 years of being on continuous flight status I have never been denied my Medical due to health reasons, even if it is temporary.

The day of my physical this past summer was just another routine physical until I broke the unspoken cardinal pilots rule, “Don’t volunteer anything about your medical condition that could potentially affect your flight status”. During conversation I blurted out that I have type 2 Diabetes but I am working on keeping it under control. Earlier in the week I had found out that my A1C blood test came back at 11 when it should have been at 7 or lower as required by the FAA. As soon as the words passed from my lips I regretted it. The Flight Surgeon was now obligated to submit my medical results to the FAA for review and approval, known as a deferral and immediately grounding me.

I have never been grounded for medical reasons before and the shock hit me like punch in the gut. I left the Flight Surgeons office feeling depressed and angry. I drove home mulling over what I had just done to my flying future and myself? Accepting that I am getting older and therefore now have some limitations has been a hard adjustment. I hate having to use readers, getting worn out physically when I do things that never tired me out before and most importantly having to deal with new health related issues that I never had to deal with before. I have always hated taking pills, going to the Dr. or changing my well established habits, but now I am faced with a stark reality, If I want to continue flying I have to finally give in and take better care of myself. I will have to accept that I am no longer 20ish even though my mind refuses to catch up to my body if I want to keep flying.

In a way I am kind of glad that I got this wake up call when I did. I have always taken for granted that I would be flying until the day that they pried the yoke out of my hands in my old age. After a few months of frustration and making some changes to my lifestyle I am almost cleared for flight status. The whole process of getting grounded and dealing with the Bureaucracy of the FAA has been eye opening and educational and I will be much more protective of my medical certificate in the future, that’s for certain.

In the interim I have been working on the ground school refresher endorsements that I will need and will begin flying with an instructor beginning after the holidays to keep my flying skills sharp. Granted I wont be the PIC (Pilot in Command), but I will at least be in the air and for me that’s starting the New Year off on the right foot.

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]