AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 12

LETTERS

FROM OUR OCTOBER 2013 ISSUE

My $1 Million Education
Senior Editor Dave Hirschman had an epiphany: What have all his years of flying cost him?
And what else has he gained? Readers could relate.
I am writing to let you know
how much I enjoyed, "My $1
Million Education." I, too,
have been extremely fortunate to fly a wide variety of
aircraft and I always try to
learn as much as I can from
each-about their individual
characteristics and about flying in general. The thoughts
Dave Hirschman masterfully distilled for his article
rang very true, and resonated
immediately with me. I agree
with everything he wrote, but
I particularly appreciate his
remark on the magic inherent
to round-engine, tailwheel,
and floatplane flying.
Charlie Moss 
AOPA 4327475
Port Charlotte, Florida

My favorite is: Absolute certainty that you've totally
mastered an aviation skill
assures a large serving of humble pie is coming your way. I got
over that one a long time ago!
And, as for It's OK for family
members not to share my passion for aviation, my son, now
24, told me when he was about
10 that he would fly with me
if I got my multiengine rating. Well, I got that in a Piper
Seminole. Shortly after that,
we were out watching airplanes come in for landings,
and I reminded him that he
said he would fly with me
now that I was multiengine
rated. As a Citation flew overhead inbound for a landing,
he said, "Mom, I meant that
multiengine!"
Amy Carpenter
AOPA 3401758
Atlanta, Georgia

12  |  AOPA PILOT  December 2013

P&E

FRUGAL FLIER

My $1 million
education
Return on investment isn't guaranteed
B Y D AV E H I R S C H M A N

IT'S HARD TO PLACE a value on my
nearly 7,000 hours spent aloft in general aviation aircraft, but $1 million is
probably close.
That's an average $142.85 an hour
for airplanes ranging from Piper
Cubs to warbirds, so the million-dollar figure is, if anything, too low.
Even more surprising than the
monstrous sum is how little I seem
to have learned during 25-years of
"higher education." I still make errors,
have lapses in judgment, and bungle
landings with sad regularity. My only
consolation, or schadenfreude, is that
others-some with even more expensive educations than mine-prove
themselves equally dense.
So, even though the thoughts
offered here for free aren't worth
anything close to a million bucks,
here are some of the lessons that my

7,000 hours of flying has imparted:
* There are few earthly problems
that flying can't improve, even if getting off the ground only provides a
brief respite and a welcome change
in perspective.
* Flying with smart, experienced
pilots and doing what they do is the
first step in learning how to think like
they think.
* Aircraft engines can and do quit,
and when they do, actual engine-out
glides look and feel much different
than practice ones.
* It's OK for family members not to
share my passion for aviation. And I
will enthusiastically support them
in all their endeavors, even if the
things they choose aren't nearly so
interesting.
* There's magic in a well-flown
aerobatic maneuver.

88 | AOPA PILOT October 2013

address: "Mechanics are brilliant people who can't tell
time (or read calendars)." I
take it Hirschman is implying
that mechanics can't or don't
know when the aircraft will
be repaired? There is only one
time when the aircraft will be
repaired and that is when it is
safe to fly. Period! It may take
an hour, it may take a month,
it may take a year. Whatever it
takes. Owners of aircraft need
to know this. Here is something that my father gave me
years ago that will aid the aviation community for years to
come. It is a hierarchy that anyone who has flown, is flying, or
is thinking about flying should
definitely understand:
Flying: The top-down reality
ladder
1. Maintenance
2. Planning
3. Physiology
4. Judgment
5. Physics/Philosophy
6. Judgment
7. Skill
8. Physics
9. Maintenance

"The point that
really hits home for
me (and will become
a Facebook quote on
my wall) is: There
are few earthly problems that flying can't
improve, even if getting off the ground
o n l y p ro v i d e s a
brief respite and a
welcome change in
Jim Mulligan 
perspective. This is
AOPA 1209836
Mesa, Arizona
absolutely brilliant
Towers
and it resonates with Dogfight: Haines, I also
Like Tom
me."
Jeremy Cooper
learned to fly at a nontowered
AOPA 1013763
New York, New York

airport in the late 1960s. I have
been at a towered airport for
the past 10 years. The tower
makes me lazy; they tell me
where to taxi, where to take
off from, and where to land. I
I just read "My $1 Million have talked to many pilots from
Education" and there is one all types of backgrounds. Many
statement that I would like to of them will not visit me at my

field because of the tower and
the FAA ordering controllers
to crack down on pilot deviations. We put on a pancake
breakfast every month during the flying season. It's the
best  breakfast anywhere-
you name it and we have it
on the table. Pilots as little as
40 miles away will not come
because of the tower. I have
talked to many pilots at a lot
of fly-ins and they all say the
same thing: Avoid a towered
field at all costs. Last month
we had a beautiful day and had
the lowest turnout ever. I wish
someone would have a very
candid survey of GA pilots of
all types and see what percentage avoid towered fields. Most
pilots express themselves in
private conversations; I wonder if they would in a survey.
Your article was right on. 
Vic Vicari
AOPA 440193
Goreville, Illinois

Come on, Tom Haines. Get real.
The question is not do you enjoy
flying into busy airfields? The
question is are control towers a
necessary evil? Like you, I prefer
to land at the local nontowered
field when I travel. It costs less,
it's a lot less stressful, and you
usually meet the nicest people.
But there are occasionally reasons for operating into busier
fields, and in that situation, I
welcome the control tower.
As Dave Hirschman says,
control towers have a purpose:
to improve the flow of traffic
at airfields that have sufficient
traffic density to justify their
use. I learned to fly at Northeast



AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013

AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013
Contents
President’s Position
Visual Approach
Letters
Waypoints
Proficient Pilot
Foundation Focus
License to Learn
Pilot Counsel
Fly Well
What Happens in Vegas...
AOPA Sweepstakes
Aviation Jobs
Gift Guide
Pilot Products
Pilot Products
News
People
Yacht of the Air
Around the World in 25 Days
Aviation Legends Walter Extra
Safety Pilot Landmark Accident: Unpredicted, Unadvised, Unaware
Summit 2013: Meeting Mr. Baker
Technique
Proficiency
Wx Watch
Technology
Ownership
Frugal Flier
Never Again
State and Local Action
Member Products
AOPA Foundation
Member Services
Government Affairs
AOPA Insurance Agency
Fly by Wire
Pilots
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - President’s Position
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 8
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 9
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Visual Approach
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 11
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Letters
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 13
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 14
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 15
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Waypoints
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 17
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Proficient Pilot
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 19
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Foundation Focus
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 21
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - License to Learn
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 23
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Pilot Counsel
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 25
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Fly Well
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 27
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - What Happens in Vegas...
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 29
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - AOPA Sweepstakes
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 31
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Aviation Jobs
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 33
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Gift Guide
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Pilot Products
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Pilot Products
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 37
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - News
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 39
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - People
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 41
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Yacht of the Air
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 43
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 44
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 45
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 46
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 47
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 48
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 49
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Around the World in 25 Days
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 51
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 52
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 53
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 54
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 55
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 56
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 57
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 58
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 59
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Aviation Legends Walter Extra
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 61
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 62
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 63
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Safety Pilot Landmark Accident: Unpredicted, Unadvised, Unaware
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 65
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 66
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 67
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Summit 2013: Meeting Mr. Baker
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 69
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 70
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 71
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Technique
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 73
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 74
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 75
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Proficiency
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 77
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 78
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Wx Watch
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 80
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Technology
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 82
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Ownership
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 84
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 85
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Frugal Flier
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 87
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Never Again
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 89
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 90
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 91
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - State and Local Action
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 93
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Member Products
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 95
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - AOPA Foundation
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 97
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Member Services
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 99
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Government Affairs
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 101
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - AOPA Insurance Agency
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 103
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 104
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 105
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 106
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Fly by Wire
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 108
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 109
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 110
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - 111
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Pilots
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2013 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201103_test
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201011demo
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/pilot0308
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com