As many COPA members know, I returned to flying last
September: just a few months after surviving a CAPS-controlled crash, brain
surgery to remove the tumor which was responsible for the crash, and
semi-paralysis from that surgery. Since then I've flown roughly 120 hours (with
time off in March 2006 for a second surgery).
For the past few months I've been somewhat unhappy with my return to flying due to the constraint of always having another pilot onboard, because it severely limits the types of trips I can take. Initially I was an optimist as to when I'd once again qualify for a medical certificate, but after discussions with the FAA it has now become apparent that it will be several years (if ever) before that might happen.
My return to flying one year ago was incredibly therapeutic, both in terms of hastening my physical rehabilitation and brightening my emotional outlook. Having now crossed those mountain ranges, I find it distinctly unsatisfying to spend 90% of my flying time just boring holes in the clouds with no prospect for change in the foreseeable future.
So its time for me to bid a fond farewell to flying. I've thoroughly enjoyed the great rides provided by Cirrus airplanes and the great camaraderie and support provided by COPA. Adios amigos!