Aviation News

Archive for February, 2011

Re-igniting the Spark of Flight, by Christian Lienemann

by on Feb.28, 2011, under Articles, Aviation, General

The General Aviation community consists of individuals from all walks of life who all share the dream of flying. The article below was written by an Auto Repair shop owner in Metraire, Lousiana, Christian Lienemann, who finally made his lifelong dream of wanting to become a pilot a reality. It was a life changing event for him and he now owns his own airplane and enjoys sharing his passion for aviation with customers and other people he meet. Thank you Christian for sharing this experience with all of us!

RE-IGNITING THE SPARK OF FLIGHT (Part 1 of 2), by Christian Lienemann

Christian Lienemann in front of the Evektor Sports Star Aircraft he learned to fly in.

By no means am I the next living legend in aviation. I am, however, the little General Aviation (GA) pilot who loves to share the joy of flight with my willing (and sometimes nervous) customers.

My aviation story is just like that of many pilots. I wanted to fly all my life, but like so many others before me, life had different plans. I took my first ride in a Cessna 172 when I was seventeen years old and from that point never stopped looking towards the sky. I did, however, fly any and every home flight simulator I could find and a vast array of radio controlled (r/c) aircraft as well!

Fast forward twenty eight years, I found an article in one of my many aviation publications, talking about the new Light Sport Pilot category, a new type of pilot license that had just been approved by the FAA, simplifying the process of getting your initial Pilot’s license.

One week later, I found myself at the controls of an Evektor Sports Star aircraft, flying around the patch with my new flight instructor in tow. (Now this guy is a candidate for a living aviation legend, with more than 10,000 flight hours!) So under his watchful eye he transferred the flight controls over to this flight simulator baby. I pulled muscles in my face I didn’t know I had with a smile so big, it took a week to look normal again.  The flight bug hit me again, and so hard I just couldn’t stop.

Every Saturday for a year (weather permitting) I flew that little bird. I took my check ride for my Sport’s Pilot license in her also. It was the examiner’s first time in this aircraft type and he was impressed!

Beechcraft BE-77 Skipper

I then found a nice little Beechcraft, BE-77 Skipper (the smallest they ever made), in New York.

I flew commercially to look at her. One week later, my newly found A&P (Aircraft and Power plant mechanic) ferried her to her new home in Louisiana. Every Saturday for another year (same weather permitting) – same great flight instructor, I took my Private Pilot check ride in her. The examiner had some time in this type, and again was impressed with my little BE-77. That smile came back again! My mother always would tell me it’s going to get stuck that way!

My beautiful (and understanding) wife and I own a five bay Auto Mechanic shop in Metairie, Louisiana.  We are just making a go of it, as I’m sure many of your readers are, in today’s market. So Monday through Friday, I’m under someone’s vehicle dreaming about the flying weekend to come. In my little office/customer waiting room, the walls are covered with pictures of the things I enjoy in life. They range from customers and their cars, to funny newspaper clippings, events I have attended and (you guessed it) airplanes!

I always offer my customers a seat, but they are usually so busy trying to take it all in that their vehicle is usually ready before they are. I answer many questions about their cars, but I also answer many questions about the pictures as well.

The most common and first question is “Do you fly?” Well, yes I do, I say, “I always wanted to do that” ( the most common statement after the question).

My reply, “Today is your lucky day…..”

(Part 2 to follow.)

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