A look at 2013

The new year is always a thought-provoking time. As the old year winds to a close and the new year spools up it’s a good time to take stock of what happened and what we hope will happen.

In flying terms, 2013 was not optimal. I flew consistently through the winter but had to stop in the spring as financial circumstances prevented me from buying air time. In November I was finally able to get back in the air, flying out of Poplar Grove airport, but once again I find myself grounded due to funding. I only logged 13 hours logged in 2013…an interesting but probably meaningless coincidence. The new year is unlikely to be better. Student loans from CTI school have come home to roost and pretty much shot down any chances I had of flying consistently in 2014. That makes me sad.

On the brighter side, my ambition to become an air traffic controller had a good year. I completed the CTI curriculum with high grades and a solid GPA this past May, and I scored a very competitive 93% on the ATC placement exam. I was granted an internship at the control tower at Chicago Executive Airport, which was a lot of fun and an excellent learning experience.

2013 brought me much anxiety over the FAA’s ability to hire controllers. Sequestration and political instability were bad for the FAA, and what is bad for the FAA is bad for rapidly aging CTI students. Luckily, the FAA has changed their hiring practices and rumor has it that there will be a round of hiring this spring. If I am lucky I might just get hired in 2014 and be able to commence the career transition I’ve been lusting after for years now. Getting hired is no guarantee of successfully completing training and becoming a CPC, but I’d like to at least get the chance to try.

2014 also holds the promise of a new Sun n Fun and a new Oshkosh. As has been said by other aviation enthusiasts, the best Oshkosh or Sun n Fun ever is the one you’re going to go to, and I hope that I can find a way to attend both events this year. I’ve upgraded to a much better camera and I’m hoping to bring some even better APOD photos in the year ahead.

So out with the old and in with the new. 2013 wasn’t all bad but for reasons beyond the scope of this blog it was not my favorite. Here’s hoping that 2014 is a better year!




3 thoughts on “A look at 2013

  1. Happy New Year Ben. Hope you get your hands on those little paper strips soon. And thanks for reiterating that, just because you love airplanes, you don’t HAVE to become an airline pilot to have a career in aviation.

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