AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 112

PILOTS  COUNTRY MUSIC STAR

Dierks Bentley
Singer, songwriter, pilot
B Y J U L I E S U M M E R S WA L K E R

LOGBOOK

WHO | Dierks Bentley
CERTIFICATES AND RATINGS | Private pilot,

instrument rating, with a type rating in the
Cessna 525.
HOURS | More than 3,800 (but "I'm behind on
my logbook" entries).
FAVORITE AIRCRAFT | "The 1946 Piper
floatplane, which is in the video for my song
Say You Do."
EXTRA | When "you're above the ground, all
your biggest problems are so small. It's a
feeling you can't find anywhere else."

112 | AOPA PILOT October 2020

EMAIL julie.walker@aopa.org

CHRIS ROSE

IT'S SOMEWHAT IRONIC that one of country music star Dierks Bentley's most
acclaimed songs (nominated for 2014 CMA song of the year and winner of
the video of the year) is the heartbreak ballad of flying alone to a canceled
honeymoon. Ironic because Bentley is a 4,000-hour pilot who would never
be Drunk on a Plane. The video is silly and lighthearted but wait for the end-
the singer ends up in the cockpit, flying the airliner to safety.
Bentley, who owned a Cirrus SR22T and flew a Cessna Citation CJ4 that
were destroyed by tornadoes that struck the Nashville area in March, took
his first flight at 13 (he won an auctioned flight in a Cessna 152) and earned
his pilot certificate when he was in his early 20s. School and a budding
music career put aviation on the back burner for several years but in 2010,

about 14 years after getting his pilot certificate, Bentley
knocked off the rust and started flying a Cirrus. He earned
his instrument rating, multiengine rating, and a type rating
in the Cessna 525. Bentley said he loves going to recurrent
training at FlightSafety International and other training
providers to work in the simulators. "I feel like I'm going
to aviation fantasy camp," he said, laughing that he likes
to hang out with professional pilots, drink the lobby coffee, and learn that "my brain works, not just creatively."
Bentley has garnered more than 6.4 billion digital
streams and received more than 50 nominations from
the Academy of Country Music Awards, Country Music
Association, and Billboard Music with 14 Grammy nominations. "I'm a big champion of aviation and what it
allows you to do," Bentley said. "I think I do represent a
large part of the population that has to travel for work."
The singer says he used to spend 200 days on his bus
touring, but the airplane changed all that. "I loved having the jet to get to show to show," he said. Once he can
return to playing live music, he hopes to get another jet.
"However, the older I get, the slower I want to go. It's nice
to hold that stick in your hand."
Bentley has recently teamed up with aerobatic pilot
Michael Goulian as one of AOPA's You Can Fly Champions
(see "Pilot Briefing: You Can Fly Champions Share Love
of Flight," page 34).



AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - 4
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - October 2020 - Cover4
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