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CMU Associate Vice President Barrie Wilkes Learning to Fly on the Side

Barrie Wilkes crunches numbers all day in his position as associate vice president of financial services at Central Michigan University, but in his off hours he is learning to fly. "The world looks a lot different from here," Wilkes said as he flew a Cessna 172 Skyhawk on a practice run from Gratiot Community Airport in Alma. He has been training since September 2008 and hopes to have his license in the next few months. His father was a pilot for the U.S. Air Force and his brother has a pilot's license, but he says learning to fly is still a challenge. Landing is the hardest part, and there are many knobs and switches to learn, he says. "I reminded myself of the student drivers I see in town," Wilkes said of his first few practice runs. Wilkes' wife Sharon said he tends to be conservative so she was surprised when he said he wanted to learn to fly, but said it is an excellent hobby he can share with his father and brother. "I just like to do new things," Wilkes said. "It's a good stress release."

November 12, 2009

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