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Flying After Scuba Diving September 30, 2008

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log.
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Every open water student learns that you need to wait before flying after you dive, and there are published guidelines to minimize the risk of decompression sickness

This post, however, continues my diving life story down a very long tangent with my decision to also learn to fly airplanes. While these two activities are incompatible when done too close together, I think a lot of divers are interested in flying and vice-versa.

My first flying lesson was September 1st, 1983, the day that KAL 007 was shot down by the Soviet Union, and not long after I’d done the last of my abandoned advanced open water course. I was taught mostly by John Briglia from the London Flying Club. I’m not sure that the club still exists, as Google doesn’t turn up very much, but I moved away from London in 1990 so I’ve lost touch. I found out later than John used to hang out with an old friend, Danny Blasco, when they used to blast around London on Honda 750-4 motorcycles. When I mentioned this to John he told me he was trying to live down those days.

What I remember mostly about the lesson was the yaw when I applied power on take-off and the impression that it handled more like a boat than a car. For my next lesson almost 3 months later I had a bad hangover, which is something to be avoided. I had simply forgot that I had a flying lesson in the morning until I got home late that night. Anyway, I think it was OK – at least the instructor didn’t give me a hard time and we didn’t crash. I had my first solo on May 27, 1984 and passed my flight test on October 29th, with about 50 hours of total time.

I love flying. I went on to get a commercial license, and night, multi-engine and instrument ratings. Unfortunately, the cost of flying strongly outpaced inflation, and keeping up the skills requires a lot of time and money, so my last flight was to Pelee Island in June of 1995. As a point of comparison, if I want to go diving I go to the dive shop, fill up my tanks, and dive. Other than gas for my car the cost is zero, unless I want to boat dive, get enriched air (although sometimes I get that free) or stay in a motel. To fly for an hour, even in a little Cessna 152, I still need gas for the car, but will spend $150 or more.

You won’t find the history of learning to fly in this blog – it’s about diving, after all. Very occasionally, the two passions would meet, and I’ll mention that.

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Comments»

1. deepstop - October 7, 2008

My one and only combined flying and diving trip is described in a later post

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