“It’s not every night you can dine with fellow pilots on the Queen Mary!” said Matt Peacock. He and girlfriend Laurie Sargent had just joined our table at the AOPA Summit “A Night for Flight” fundraiser in Long Beach Harbor, California. They proved to be hospital nurses from upstate New York.
“Did you fly yourselves here?” I asked.
“Oh no,” said Matt. “I pilot a Cessna 150 out of Ogdensburg, up on the Canadian border. Flying here would have taken forever.” Along with working Ogdensburg’s emergency room, Matt practices as a travel nurse in Poughkeepsie. “Flying myself there saves time, and turns out to be affordable.”
“How did you get into flying?” asked my wife Jean.
“At the time I worked full time in Poughkeepsie – eight days at a stretch to minimize the number of 5-hour drives from Ogdensburg. I remember thinking, ‘there must be a quicker way to get here.’
“One day, someone suggested I look into flying down for work. Of course they meant by airline, but it triggered the thought, ‘why not learn to fly myself?’ I found my instructor Kurt Thomas on the web, and was hooked after my first lesson in November, 2006.” Thirty hours into training, Matt bought his own airplane.
“I figured, ‘why not apply $5000 of my training cost against buying my own plane?’”
READ GREG’S ENTIRE JULY COLUMN, “AFFORDABLE ADVENTURE.” (Please allow a moment for the article to load.)
Photo: Matt Peacock with his 1973 Cessna 150, at Lake Placid Airport, NY. See more of Matt’s photos here.
©2011 Gregory N. Brown
If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!