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Curing the GA Bug
By Leonardo Correa Luna, EAA 1110997
December 22, 2015 - I am from Uruguay, South America, and I have been flying for a Chinese airline for the past seven years. For the most part, GA is forbidden in China, and I missed flying something else besides my daily work horse, the Airbus A320. In 2013 I went to my first EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (a long delayed dream as I tried to go for years but there was always something on the way) and camped there for the whole week. I got a severe GA infection and couldn’t think of anything else other than that I wanted my own airplane!
In 2014 I went again to Oshkosh with my friend Alan Miller (overall great guy and a true aviator). Over some beers at the tent bar outside Oshkosh we did a deep analysis about which airplane was right for me. The conclusion was a Cessna 170!
One week later back in China I was surfing every day through the pages of Aerotrader, Controller, and others in the search for “my” airplane when I discovered N7760C in Sacramento, California. It was love at first sight and after several e-mails, I found a mechanic to do an inspection and deal with the logistics of the paperwork. I bought the airplane without even seeing it in person!
In September 2014 I flew to San Francisco, rented a car, and drove to Sacramento with my wife and daughter. My friend and instructor John Quayle flew to KSAC in a Cessna 140 with Paul Domeer, the mechanic who did the inspection. With John as PIC, we picked up 7760C and flew it to what was going to initially be her temporary home, Livermore, California (KLVK).
The original plan was to fly 7760C to Florida and then ship it in a container to Uruguay, but I fell in love with KLVK — such an awesome airport full of high quality airport bums and awesome airplanes — that I decided to leave the airplane permanently in California. Last July, I flew 7760C with my 4-year-old daughter to Oshkosh! We camped the whole week at Vintage, and we were one of the last airplanes to depart Oshkosh on Monday.
I didn’t fly a straight line except when over Interstate 80, visited many friends, and during 20 days with my daughter, Jade, flew 60C for 70 hours, always with a smile (I used some of the bucket luck too)!
The circle was complete!
Leonardo has captured some great aviation photos. Visit his Flickr account to see more!