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May 28, 2008
AOPA ePublishing staff
Flight instructor Richard Gibbs signs off Ernie Trent as a sport pilot.
Ernest Trent is not your ordinary pilot. For starters, he’s 101 years old and still in the left seat. Add to that a flying history that includes training aircrews to fly B-25s during World War II and ownership of 13 different airplanes.
Although Ernie, as he prefers to be called, no longer holds an FAA medical, he still drives his Mini Cooper daily and can exercise the privileges of a sport pilot. He received his most recent sign-off in an Avid Flyer in August 2007 from flight instructor Richard Gibbs, a friend and member of the Somerset (Pennsylvania) Aero Club flying group that Trent helped found in 1940.
“Usually I go with him, but he is officially signed off,” said Gibbs, who added that Trent flies only a couple of times a year but still enjoys getting aloft. And he passed the flying bug on to his family. Trent’s grandson is a former Navy pilot who now flies Boeing 757s for UPS.
What does a 101-year-old man do for fun when he’s not flying? Among other things, Trent enjoys eating out—often driving himself 50 miles to a favorite restaurant—and performing routine maintenance on his car.
Pilot Training and Certification
Contemplating IFR flight scenarios for airports like Delta, Utah, is excellent review for any instrument pilot. That's because briefing for a flight into and out of Delta covers bases unlikely to be encountered on your next two-hour tour of your home field approaches.
What’s your heading?” Rare is the student pilot who hasn’t let distraction, or turbulence, spoil a slick stint of steady flying. Then you vow to do a better job next time of keeping track of the messages your instruments are displaying.
Helicopter training is generally very safe. So why do run-on takeoffs and landings feel so wrong?
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.