Flying Again after a 40-year break with Bob Eicholz

Solo day as a teen in the 1970s and ~40 years later in April 2013.

40 years after his last flight Bob Eicholz dusts off his wings and starts flying again. As a child in the 1960’s Bob took a scheduled airline DC-3 flight with his dad, which hooked him on airplanes. After getting his private pilot’s certificate as a teen he stepped away from flying until this year (2013). Listen in as he shares his story and notes the differences and similarities between then and now as well as some of the tools he used to stay engaged and refresh his skills en route to passing his check ride.

Mentioned in the interview

  • PilotEdge – Flight simulation using real controllers and pilots (check this one out).
  • LiveATC – Let’s you listen to pilot/Air Traffic Control communications worldwide.
  • Pilots of America Forum – Covering everything aviation.

Podcast Transcript

Dave Goodwin: Welcome to PlaneViz episode 5. My guest today is Bob Eicholz. Bob got his private pilot’s certificate when he was 18 years old and then stepped away from flying for 40 years. Earlier this month, Bob had checked out and is flying once again. Bob welcome back and welcome to PlaneViz.

Bob Eicholz: Thank you. I’m really, really happy to be here. It’s very – it’s thrilling for me.

Dave: Well let’s go back to the beginning. When did you become a pilot and why originally?

Bob: You know I was a passion for me. I was kind of a mathematics nerd when I was in high school but I also loved physics and I loved the relationship between math and airplanes. But I also just loved airplanes ever since I rode on a DC-3 with my dad when I was six years old. So I just…I would hang out at the airport from the time I was 12 on. I would hang out on the airport at weekends, I would ride my bicycle 20 miles to the San Jose airport when I was 14. I just sat and watched planes and so it was just kind of a natural. And the day I was old enough I started taking lessons , I soloed the day that I was old enough to solo. Got my private’s the day I was old enough to get a private’s license so I don’t know, you know what, it’s…it’s in my blood. I really can’t explain it any other way [laughs].

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