Every time I reflect on what I do for a summer job, I can't help but smile. The thrill of flying is something I've dreamt about since I was a young boy, parked at the airport watching the planes land and take-off.
I began flying in 1998 at Centennial Flight Centre, while working full time to pay for the lessons. After 2 1/2 years I finished my commercial licence plus the multi-engine IFR ratings. As well, during that time I completed a mountain rating, which I would recommend, for the beauty of flying in the mountains is unparalleled.
When I had my licences in hand, expected the phone to ring because I was a multi-IFR rated pilot. How naive. In order to get a job flying I drove thousands of miles in search of someone wjo would give me a chance to prove myself and begin getting golden hours. After all that driving and door knocking I stumbled across my first flying job just 40 minutes away.
The flying is done in a Cessna 182 and Cessna 206. The strip we use is grass and because we are situated in the prairies the weather can change suddenly. One time we were climbing to 12,000 feet when a cell changed everything. The winds were 90 degrees to the strip and gusting to 40 knots, so we diverted to a nearby airport where 4 skydivers (one being my boss) and myself climbed out to wait for the cell to pass. And that was my first weekend!
The people I work with are great. The Chief Pilot always has recommendations to help me learn more about flying. Every time I am at 12,000 feet I remind myself this is real and not a dream anymore. As far as the future is concerned, I am excited thinking about what type of plane I will fly next and where. Only time will tell. In the meantime I will continue flying skydivers from April until November and appreciate every flight.
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