Friday, November 28, 2008

Here we go. A brief overview.

You are going to see a wide range of rants on this blog.

As a young boy I was scared of planes. On my second trip on American Airlines from seeing my dad in Nashville, flying back to Cleveland, I was hooked. As I remember, it was a Lockheed Electra.

Over time I read every flying book that I could get my hands on.

I took my first flying lesson at the age of 14 at
Cornelia Fort Airpark in Nashville. That $30 intro ride was the clincher. It was in a Cessna 172 with Joe Smiley as my flight instructor. My dad was in the back seat and not once did he squawk over my (lack of) taxi skills. But, my in air skills were dead on. Joe talked me through the maneuvers and my first landing was a nice, no, wait … it was a PERFECT full stall landing.

My lessons continued years later in Cleveland, mostly at the defunct Chagrin Falls Airport (5G1). I had problems with my Class 3 due to being monocular (less than 20/100 corrected vision in one eye), so I was under a different criteria. I found out what that criterion was after fighting for 9 years. Once I took this information to my eye doctor, he fitted me with new contact lenses and I had my medical within 2 months. But, by then my flying money was squandered on things that guys in their 2o's like to do.

I always had my love for flying, and finally decided to pursue. I had a decent job, a medical in hand and had to remove a couple of obstructions from my life. Other people had other plans for me and I put flying on hold.

I went through a liver transplant in 1997 and gave up on the dream. I still followed aviation, but never went to small airports. In 2007 I had a liver/kidney transplant, and all but gave up on flying at all. While still in the transplant ward in the Cleveland Clinic, something told me to just look up info on transplants and medical approval. SHAZAM!!! There WERE pilots with transplants. So, I was smiling ear to ear with a new liver and new kidney and the chances of a medical.

On April 1 I applied for my medical at the Cleveland Clinic and had small but realistic hopes to pass once my records were sent to Oklahoma City for approval. Actually the fear was over my clinically diagnosed depression and less about my liver and kidney.

All of the paperwork was sent and I waited and waited. I received a letter that requested more and more information. I expected a 8-9 month wait while the FAA did their stuff. I received another letter and this one was thicker. Thicker envelopes meant that a LOT of info needed was still needed, or a long list of reasons for you being rejected. I opened the letter and read the news. What was enclosed was …


schoolboy216 said...

Hey Big Cuz,
Continue to follow your dream! I continue to soar along spiritually. You however, will soar literally as you always have in your mind's eye.

Forgot to tell you, I bought a house, and moved Ma in with me. :-)
Call the old number and you'll get the new one. Call the house and you can get the "rest of the story"

One Love, Peace

Steve said...

Dave, I have no idea how I never realized you had a blog before. My sincere apologies for just finally finding it, linking to it, and reading your posts! And you have such an amazing story with the transplants that I was totally unaware of, too.

Keep on pursuing the dream, man!