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Briar Bentley

Stone Cottage

Landis Bennett

Before Start Checklist

KSAC, Sacramento, California, USA

22 March 2008, 1230 PDT

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© 2008 Landis Bennett, All Rights Reserved.


This is the beginning of a flight. It's also the beginning of a new career as a "professional" pilot.

I've had my pilot's license for over a decade now and had wanted to fly since I first learned about airplanes. But in all that time I've only been able to occasionally fly due to the expense.

Here in the United States flying is relatively cheap. I can rent a single-engine, two-seat Cessna 152 for about $100 per hour, including fuel. In the UK and Europe it can be upwards of $200 per hour. But even at the "cheap" rates, flying is an extremely expensive hobby - one that I just can't afford. So in the last year or so my wife and I made a decision: I needed to find a way to get other people to pay me to fly.

That led me to a flight school where I would be trained in bigger, more complex, twin-engined aircraft like this PA-44-180 Piper Seminole. The Seminole isn't exactly a practical airplane: It cruises at about 140 knots, only takes 4 passengers and minimal baggage, and still uses about 18-20 gallons of fuel per hour. But it's an extremely good trainer and all of my potential future employers want to see that coveted "multi-engine" time in my log book. So here I am after getting my multi-engine private pilot's license and my instrument rating. Now a little more time in the Seminole and I'll be going for my commercial pilot's license and 3 different flight instructor ratings (Flight Instructor Airplane, Multi-Engine, and Instruments).

This particular Seminole may not look all that great inside, and shows its almost 30 years (it's a 1979 model), but it flies well.

The beginning of a new career. Wish me luck.
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USA-Canada / USA-California

Lat: 38° 30' 57.96" N
Long: 121° 29' 51.87" W

Elevation: 24 feet

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Hardware: Nikon D200, Nikkor 10.5mm Lens, Kaidan QuickPan III Spherical
Software: PTGui/Mac, Photoshop CS2, CubicConverter
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