Logbook Stories

from my "Standard Pilot Master Log"


Former Students Who Made Good

November 21, 1991

The first logbook image reproduced above for this story isn't a logbook entry for a specific flight. Rather, it's from the back of my logbook in its "Memoranda" pages, where I recorded (as required by the FAA) student pilot endorsements and their check ride results. This particular student's name, and his endorsement and check ride "Pass" result, reminded me that when pilots fly about from place to place, they tend to meet up with other pilots they know from other circumstances: former coworkers at other previous employers, classmates at flight schools or recurrent training and best of all: former flight students who have made good in their aviation careers. So the second logbook image above is the logbook entry for a flight where I met up again with the above endorsed student who made good in his aviation career: Tom K., a flight student at the community college who I trained and endorsed for his CFI certificate.

I think I already knew that Tom was now working for his state DOT aeronautics department, because previously he'd looked me up when he flew a King Air trip into my home base. But I don't remember on this story occasion whether I let him know I was coming or just planned to pop in. This destination airport also was the base for the community college flight program operations when I worked there. So I checked out my old stomping grounds, and then I went over to the terminal building to check out Tom. I honestly don't remember if we did anything together other than visit. Usually I'd be up for treating a fellow pilot to lunch on my company expense account. Regardless, it was good to see a former student who made good. And I don't know how current Google is on Tom's whereabouts these days, but I think he may still be there. Probably is the head honcho by now, if so.

Other flight students I'd trained at the community college who made good and that I later met up with on trips include Duane G.* at Dulles, who was a Captain on a corporate Beechcraft Starship, and gave us the tour (amazing airplane, so sad no longer made), and Steve H. at Pontiac, who was a pilot for an aircraft management company. Another community college flight student of mine I remember, who I never met up with later, was Chuck M., who my hazy memory tells me became Chief Pilot for a regional airline, but the airline no longer exists, and I can't find any documentation to corroborate that memory. Outside of my flight school students, there was also Ron P., a former flight instructor coworker and student at the same time at the FBO we both worked for, who I gave dual instruction to prepare him for a Part 135 check ride. I later met up with Ron at Dayton where he was a Captain on a cargo operator's B-727. We did do the lunch thing, and Ron had some stories to tell, and it was good to catch up with him. He later went on to United. There were other fellow pilot encounters that I can't recall and also match who with when and where, and so I can't find any logbook entry to document them. So I'm afraid their stories have to remain untold until my memory-recall annunciator begins flashing. I'm proud, and I've been privileged, to have served as one of many instructors and teachers professional pilots encountered during their flying careers.

* I was saddened to learn via Google that Duane had passed away from cancer at an age too young even to be retired from flying. I hope and pray that his spirit may have "slipped the surly bonds of earth" and now be "touching the face of God" as per the Gillespie "High Flight" poem.



References for Non-Pilots: