Last Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, was one of those perfect Northern California late-autumn days, and it was a day off so I took my stepfather Dennis flying. Although he has a private pilot certificate he no longer flies. But every time I visit he asks if I can take him flying. This time, the answer was “Yes,” instead of the usual, “No, because I’m not checked out at any of the local airplane rental companies.”
So we drove over to Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose, showed my pilot and medical certificates and renter’s insurance papers to the friendly folks who run Trade Winds Aviation, and just minutes later preflighted a Cessna 172S and took off into the bright blue skies for a day of aviation adventuring. This all happened without my having to get a formal flight checkout at Trade Winds, saving me at least $200 in rental and instructor fees. Before that day, I had never set foot in Trade Winds Aviation.