Saturday, December 15

Playing Doctors

fThe Flagship took to the air again last weekend on two important missions.  The first was the annual  Office Christmas party of  Drs. Shawn Engebretsen and William Lippisch on Friday night.  The good doctors are both pilots themselves and Shawn is already a member of the Foundation. The staff and their guests were instructed to show up at Stuart Air Center with no idea of what would transpire.  Once there, they learned they would become members of the Foundation and fly to Vero Beach for dinner at C.J. Cannon's, a restaurant at the airport. While folks were given the option to drive in case anyone was averse to flying, the whole group opted to fly. This completely filled the plane to the extent that the hosts and a few others had to fly up in Dr. Lippisch's personal plane.
The Flagship took off in waning daylight and the passengers witnessed a gorgeous sunset over South Florida from the air.  The plan was to detour over the homes of some of the party goers and also to circle the Jupiter Lighthouse on the way. After a delightful dinner, the happy passengers were treated to a nighttime flight over the sparkling lights and shimmering water back to Stuart. Someone referred to the evening as a "Casablanca Moment." What an exciting evening for these folks!
The next mission was for Tom Taff to secure his type rating in the DC-3 at long last. Tom was supposed to do this last year until a freak injury resulted in delicate hand surgery and a long rehabilitation. Thankfully he is as good as new.  On Saturday morning Tom, Tony and Gene flew up to Melbourne to meet the examiner and Tom got to shoot two IFR approaches as the visibility was low and it took two tries to get in. Then Tom got to do it four more times as part of his exam.  It seemed to be a day of delays, but at long last, Tom became the newest Captain of the Flagship Detroit.
By this time, it was iffy as to whether Tom would make his 6PM flight out of West Palm Beach, but the Flagship delivered him with 5 minutes to spare and by a miracle, he did make the flight. Stay tuned for  the further adventures of the Flagship as she winters in Florida.

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