SKIPPER-Beech Craft BE77 N38026
This is the wonderful aircraft that I learned to fly and earn my private pilot's license in. I began my lessons in 2007 without the objective to solo. I intended to fly around with instructors and enjoy flying. However, this goal did not last long and I began wanting to become an accomplished pilot. The FAA did not cooperate but after eight months I received Medical Certification third class and Student Pilot Certificate. Many people attempted to discourage me because of my age, 85 years young. In July 2008 I had the airplane repainted. The color scheme was designed by Ruh Began one of America’ finest aircraft artists’ in the colors of the 302nd Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group the Tuskegee Airmen. The aircraft’s name is “Spirit of the Tuskegee Airmen” my goal is to use this airplane to teach youth to fly at a reduced cost. To-date one young man has earned a private pilot license and will enter U.S Air Force pilot training in April 2010, another has soloed and will enter the Air force Academy in June 2010, and one youth has receives several hours of training.
Whatever aircraft I flew in I got some "stick time," "but to fly alone as the pilot was my dream. That’s the thrill knowing I can do it myself.” Fast forward about 65 years and I decided I wanted to finish what I started long ago. But to do so, I needed some help from instructors. That’s where Adam Weiss and Lloyd Tincher came in. Weiss said he was a bit skeptical that I would get medically cleared, but vowed to work with me until the clearance came. “I thought he was crazy. It’s unprecedented. We had bets going that he wouldn’t make it,” Weiss joked. “I really wanted to help him because I knew his character and how much it meant to him. We kept plugging away.” Tincher had similar doubts, but also had similar hopes for me. “I thought that he’s too old” he said. “I explained to him , let’s do it for fun.” I didn’t think he could. But he just went after it with gusto. Warren said, “I am not used to folks telling me I can’t do something. I kept persisting until the FAA finally gave him the green light. A lot of people told me that this would never happen. I said “No, I’m going to do it.” On September 18, 2008 I flew solo for the first time, it was time to celebrate and reflect on a long life dream come true. I got home and invited my neighbors over for some champagne, we partied!” I have completed over 12,000 + hours as a navigator during my Air Force career and over 175 combat missions in Korea and Vietnam, but this was my most memorable sortie, when I flew solo for the first time. My journey to obtaining my private pilot’s certificate was much like trying to complete flight training at Tuskegee in World War II. Many pilot cadets had their flying hopes dashed midway through their training, often with no explanation. I endured a long ongoing battle with the FAA who constantly threw up road blocks to my dream. I took the flight test on June 7, 2010 and passed with flying colors. I was then able to complete the flight requirements to be recommended to take the private pilot proficiency examination. On September 20, 2010 I was administered a flight examination by Mr. Reinhardt Jarschke, a FAA certified flight examiner. After an exhaustive flight test, I was awarded my Private Pilot Certificate. This was almost as thrilling as my first solo. The next day I completed my next flying goal. I gave my wife a flight around the local area, which she enjoyed. I am very happy and comfortable with my accomplishment. I am a Guinness World Record holder as the oldest person to initially earn a Private Pilot’s license in America at age 87.
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