I honestly can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t want my own airplane. In my later teen years, I even wrote a letter to an older gentleman that owned a Cessna 172, asking if he would take on a partner.
To no one’s surprise, that didn’t happen. (Apparently my part-time employment at Fareway Food Stores didn’t impress him.)
In 2012, my wife and I took the plunge and purchased N7371K, a 1950 Piper Pacer. It is a well-cared for example of Piper’s short wing group, with decent speed and good economics as far as airplanes go.
As a devout, no-joke airplane geek, this was the epitome of aviation to me. My own wings, waiting for whenever I got the itch to go. Wow.
From early-morning breakfast flights to lunch on an airport island, we’ve made some memories. Flynn’s first airplane ride, supper along the Mississippi River, grill-out events at our local airport — they all dot the timeline of our aircraft ownership.
Why Sell It?
For eight years, we’ve cared for the Pacer, given it the gift of upgrades, and just generally enjoyed being “those people with an airplane.” But all things come to an end at some point, and with life’s changes — and some new ideas for our flying mission in general — this one has, too.
Frankly, there’s a lot of uncertainty right now, which isn’t the entire story behind our decision to let 71K go. We’ve been contemplating it for a couple of years. We simply weren’t flying it as much anymore, and it deserves someone who will make it a priority.
Luckily, we found those owners, and they’re happily together now. They are going to love it.
The best reason I can give you? We’re ready for a change.
Despite rumors to the contrary, I’m not giving up flying! Quite the opposite. In fact, a condition of this sale (from Amber) was that I immediately fill the gap. We still want to fly! And fly we will.
In the short term, I’m joining a local flying club that will afford me access to two airplanes, both with glass cockpit technology and IFR capability. I haven’t been IFR current in years, and it’s time I got those skills back, among others. Hopefully I’ll get back into the instructor’s seat more than I have been, too.
I’m sure another round of aircraft ownership is in our future, but I can’t predict what that looks like right now. Maybe when Flynn is older and we have a better mission definition. Maybe when our schedules aren’t so full with other priorities in life. Maybe when the right airplane appears before our eyes.
But I do know I’ll get that ownership craving again. Maybe N7371K will be somehow involved. Life is funny that way.
Safe travels for now, 71K. It’s been an honor to look after you.