Tell Us Your Story!

Congratulations! You joined Pilot to Pilot. Now we want to hear your story!

If you are a member of the “Greatest Generation” and have aviation memories of missions around the globe then we want to hear your story. If you are a pilot form the Korean War years with tales to tell; we want to hear your story. If you were involved in aviation during the Vietnam years; we want to hear your story. If you have been a part of the growth and expansion of the commercial air carrier industry; we want to hear your story. If you are riding the wave of current aviation innovation; we want to hear your story. If you have memories of favorite aviation destinations; we want to hear your story. In fact, we are looking for aviation related stories of all types from everywhere. We want to hear from pilots and Captains and instructors and freight-dogs, and heavy iron drivers, and fighter pilots. Everyone has a story. We want yours!

This whole Pilot to Pilot thing came to me in the dark part of one of the last winters when I was reliving some past aviation travels with some fellow flyers. It all kind of developed from there. We were all grousing about how dismal the weather had been lately and the hangar flying just sort of took off.

Every pilot has a story. We’d like to relate yours for you so all the other members of the “Brotherhood” can read and enjoy, maybe have a laugh or two from it, or maybe learn a bit about what not to do. The whole idea of Pilot To Pilot is that it is for pilots; BY Pilots. Only we pilots know what we’ve done that we shouldn’t have, the stress of those moments of concern, the satisfaction of a procedure or maneuver well done, or the wonderful time we had on a flying vacation.

Add your stories to all the others out there waiting to be told. Tell us your story. Just write it up and click on “submit and article” at the top of the page.

In my case I have been an active pilot for over 40 years and have what many would term an “exciting” history in and out of commercial aviation. I could tell you about my instructor years when my buddy Dennis (gone west) and I landed our rented 172 on a snow covered grass strip in the middle of nowhere only to find that the grass was indeed very tall under the snow that obscured most everything under the tops of the blades. We stopped like we had caught the 3 wire. After much shoveling and stomping of pathways and a high throttle taxi with some flap hanging out, we made it to the highway where a group of drunken snowmobilers blocked the highway for our take off. It cost us a bottle of Blackberry Brandy!

How about the time I accidentally shut the fuel off with my foot in a freight hauling A-36 Bonanza at night, in full winter IFR? That might make a good story. Or perhaps that trip where I was hauling 9 pax around the Volcanos of the Big Island in a Chieftain when I lost a turbo at 13,000 feet over the crest of Mauna Loa would make a good one. Did you know that if you are loading bags into in the hell-hole of a Citation Bravo in the rain that the run off drips directly into your right shoe? Perhaps I should relate the tale of the time the Citabria windshield buckled inward as I came out of a loop, or the time the trunnion bolt left the right side landing gear on a Bonanza and left me with the gear almost down, and almost locked.

If we are honest about these things, the list is probably long and sometimes embarrassing. I like to think I learned something from all my adventures and mis-adventures in the air, and I’d like to learn from yours as well. I am sure that I cannot be the only one who has something to share. Don’t be shy, think of it as your first solo. You must have a story for us. Tell us where you went and how you got there and what a wonderful flight it was. Tell us what you saw, what you just bought, what you are restoring. Fill us in on technology for aviation if you are a “Techno Wizard”. Send us tips and techniques if you instruct. Tell us about that nasty motel you spent the night at in Cross City FL the time you blew a tail wheel tube on you Maule and how you had to “rope” it to get home! Tell us about the old B-25 driver you know that ditched in the ocean and lived to tell the tale. Tell us about hand propping your 0-540; or that time the radios all burned up on your instrument cross country! If you are or were a heavy iron driver we know you have some dilly’s you could relate! Give ‘em up! If you were a member of the “Greatest Generation” we particularly want to hear your story. We want life altering events and small success stories. We want it all. The good, the bad, the FAA.

C’mon. Plunk your butt down in front of that computer and stick something in a “Word doc” and save it. Send it to us when you are done massaging the lies. If its aviation and it’s a good story, chances are we’ll pass it along for other members to learn from and enjoy. We would also love to pass along any aviation related videos you might put together.

Click on “Submit Article”

I look forward to hearing from you!

Many thanks,

“Tango Sierra”

Tom Speerstra

Author: Tom Speerstra

Tom Speerstra has had an enduring love affair with aviation for over 40 years. Countless adventures have been enjoyed flying students, people, paper, and parcels in everything from Champs to Citations. He has held positions as both Chief Pilot and Director of Operations for Part 135 carriers and holds an ATP, MEII, SES ratings and a Citation type rating. Tom makes his home in Michigan with his wife Elizabeth and the two dogs Hess and Pappy.