California or Bust: A Young Pilot’s First Solo Cross-country Adventure

“N572DS is cleared to the Papa Romeo Charlie airport via runway heading, direct VINCO, join V107, then Papa X-ray November, join V113 to PRIEST, then as filed. Climb and maintain 5,000, expect 11,000 one zero minutes after departure. Departure frequency 121.3, squawk 3757…read-back correct.” Gauges green, airspeed alive. “N572DS I have an amendment to your clearance, advise when ready to… Read more »

So Many Reasons to Fly

While I haven’t had occasion to fly fixed-wing lately, I have been doing a lot of rotary-wing work courtesy of the Michigan Army National Guard. I was recently at Fort Rucker, AL, finishing up a 5-week Tactical Operations course, which is just one of the many qualifications I am expected to achieve and maintain as… Read more »

Fishing and Flying

It’s common knowledge that the some of biggest freshwater fish live in the waters way up north — those places where bear, moose, and wolves roam the shores; the eagles fly overhead; and the loons and beavers glide on the surface of sparkling blue waters. At least that’s how the stories go. If you’re a… Read more »

Destination: Lunch at the Fly Inn

Since earning my private, one of my most favorite destinations has been lunch! You can fly in nearly any direction and you’ll eventually find it. On one of the many unseasonably warm days we had this winter, I found myself, along with Sweet Aviation student, Michael Alberico heading to Plainwell, MI for lunch at The… Read more »

The Miracle of a Dream

My love affair with flying began when I was watching airplanes fly in and out of Lowry Air Force Base located in Denver, Colorado. Though my father was a Master Navigator there, I never revealed my fascination with flying to him. After graduating from high school, I went to work for United Airlines in the… Read more »

What Flying Means to Me

As a younger man, I would often watch geese using their natural flying skills when landing on a pond, and I would think about flying. As an older man I learned how to fly, a task that was challenging. With the help of Sweet Aviation they made it possible for me to become a Private… Read more »

How My Business Took Flight

When I began my pilot training in 2008, I really had no idea how dramatically it would affect and complement my business life. In 2006, Ottenweller Co. opened a satellite facility in Mount Airy, North Carolina. The trip to Mount Airy by automobile was a nine-hour adventure of boring flatlands and white-knuckle winding toll roads… Read more »

Summertime Flying

Summertime is the time of year when everybody wants to go flying. It’s a great time to learn a new skill and enjoy the wonders of flying. Summer doesn’t come without its own challenges though. The threat of thunderstorms is always hanging around the edges of every summertime flight. Whether a little single-cell pop-up storm… Read more »

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

This is a popular saying in the engineering and science world that applies directly to general aviation. As we start out on that very first lesson, it is a whole new world. Things are happening fast, and that long-dreamt desire to become a pilot is actually happening. I know for me, a lot of my… Read more »

From Passenger to Copilot

Imagine flying along in the passenger seat of an aircraft, enjoying the beautiful blue sky. Suddenly, your pilot’s health takes a downward turn, to the point where he’s unable to safely fly the aircraft. Would you rather feel like a passenger or a copilot? Wouldn’t it be great to take the flight controls with some… Read more »