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Making Safety a Chapter Event

By Dan Grunloh, Editor, Light Plane World

Dan Grunloh

The great thing about flying is that it can be an adventure every time you take off. This month, as in past issues, EAA Light Plane World features stories and news of ordinary individuals who have found their adventure in the light side of aviation. Each and every year we should try to find some new experience in flying. With only a month remaining in 2010, the time to review the logbook is near. What was your adventure of 2010?

Some of us come late to realizing how important it is to dream and to seek out the adventures of flight. It’s not enough to simply fly around the pattern and go to the nearby pancake breakfast. Every year gone by is one less that you will have to fly as a pilot. We should constantly expand our experiences, skills, ratings, and places we have seen. As you move your horizons outward, everything gets easier and more fun. About eight years ago I was dragged kicking and screaming into a brief foray into the world of microlight competition flying. I had several glorious local minor victories and a couple of major defeats at the international level. It was costly, inconvenient, and a lot of work, but it opened my eyes to what is possible. We can often do much more than we realize.

You don’t have to crate your plane and ship it to another continent to have an adventure.  You don’t have to disassemble your FAR103 ultralight and smuggle it into Baja Mexico in the back of a trailer to have an adventure. Every flight to a new destination, any flight that breaks a personal record, or any change to a new aircraft can be an adventure. In my opinion any flight to AirVenture Oshkosh qualifies as an adventure even if you have flown there before. Also realize there are adventures to be had in aviation besides the piloting of the aircraft. It can be the things you see and do and the people you meet. Anyone designing, building, restoring, or teaching others can have an adventure.

So how did I do this year on the “adventure” front? I flew to some new fly-ins and camped under the wing, but I did not break the 1,000-mile cross-country mark. I didn’t learn to fly a new type of aircraft. I didn’t set a world record or any other things that would qualify for my “adventure of the year.” There was one thing though that I never imagined, predicted, or expected: I agreed to become the editor of EAA Light Plane World. The production of the first 12 issues has truly been an adventure. What was very difficult at first has become more and more fun as I learned how to pull it all together. My aviation adventure for 2010 was the creation of this newsletter.

Next year, though, I’m going “raise the bar” and do something that would be on par with the many stories featured here. I don’t know what it is yet, but it may be adding a new category and class to my sport pilot certificate. If you don’t have anything that stands out in your logbook for 2010, don’t let that happen again in 2011. Start thinking and dreaming now about what is possible and when you have your great adventure, consider sharing it with the readers of EAA Light Plane World.

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