I was going to wait until January to start my training, and had my sights set on Richmoor Aviation, out of Schenectady County Airport (KSCH). Seemed like the best bet, being a bit structured and although it’s a 45 minute drive to get there, it was the closest school to home.
I didn’t want to explore a private instructor. Too many variables. How would I know if he/she was really any good? Yes, I could have the flyboys check them out. No, it just seemed like too much for my little brain to handle.
Well, two weeks ago, while waiting for my ride (Captain Glickman and the N7292J) at 5B2, I walked up to two gentleman having a conversation outside the FBO. They asked if I was a student too. Student? Flattered. Didn’t know that there was a school there. Turns out that Argyle Aviation has been running a school out of Saratoga County. That’s a good thing, right?
The guys tell me I have to meet Dale. I should fly with Dale. He should be my instructor. Yeah, Dale. He wears a cowboy hat. Like that’s going to make a difference to me? I wear cowboy boots. So?
I take Dale’s number and call him the following day. Leave a message and he calls back an hour later. Yes, he’d love to take on another student. Yes, he’ll meet me to chat. Asks if I can meet him at Gaffney’s because he works there on Mondays. Works at Gaffneys? I say “Dale, if you work at Gaffney’s, I know you”. Well, only Mondays, so maybe I don’t.
That evening in the car, talking to another friend about flying, I come to find out that I do, in fact, know Dale, and have known him for years. Dale with the cowboy hat. Yep. Dale Easter. One of my regular Friday night crowd at Gaffneys. Too funny. I never knew he flew, let alone instructed.
Met with Dale on Monday and talked about flying. He talked with his hands. Talked about the curriculum. Talked about feeling flight, not just the mechanics of it. When pilots talk about flying with their hands, it works for me. They watch their fingers and move their heads. They fly on the ground. Perspective.
So I think this might be the right thing to do. Feels good. Feels right. Yes, I have signed on for my instruction out of 5B2 with Argyle Aviation. Yes, I’m going to work with Dale. He loves my cowboy boots, after all.