Persistence pays. Just ask Denis Mayberry after his first solo at BFL! Denis has been working hard with CFI Mark Hargis and finally reached his milestone goal of flying an airplane solo. Thrilled? Just look at the picture. Congratulations, Denis! You’ve joined a small group of people who have piloted an airplane by themselves and returned it safely to Earth. You have much to proud of.

GREAT JOB Andy! Another solo.

From CJ Andy’s CFI at the BFC:  After a long summer and fall of college classes and a full-time work schedule, Andy Bravo has some how managed to squeeze in flight training and the extra study that comes along with learning to fly. He is an excellent flight student, and understands that the learning never stops. He has also been able to share his passion of flight with his little sister Victoria, who has been able to join big brother on a couple of his training flights. The time finally came for Andy, the time each and every pilot will always remember, the day the instructor climbs out of the airplane and says, “Ok, she’s all yours, enjoy your first solo!” After making a couple landings to polish up for the big moment, Andy’s instructor C.J. Martin gave him the big hand shake and one last vote of confidence, and Andy blasted off runway 30 at Minter Field in N73977 all by himself. Unfortunately, an elephant wandered out onto the runway which forced a go-around on his first solo approach, but the next three landings were flawless! He returned to Meadows Field as the newest person in the world to fly a machine away from the earth by themselves, got a “Congratulations” from the tower, and was met by his very proud family who was anxiously awaiting his arrival. GREAT JOB ANDY, keep up the good work and never stop learning!





Fun Times with the BFL ATC & KCFD!

Wow, What a GREAT Seminar!

The September BFC FAASTeam seminar had KBFL’s outstanding ATC team as guest speakers. Everybody, from beginner to seasoned pro, learned something new and was able to meet, live and in person, the guys and gals who help keep us organized and safe in the skies. We learned about tower/ground ops and radar procedures. We got to see what they see on their radar screens, and learned a few dos and don’ts when talking to ATC.

The BFL fire department also made a great presentation, and told us about their duties and responsibilities. They even gave us a tour of one of the their trucks, specially-designed to fight intense aircraft fires.

The Bakersfield Flying Club extends a hearty Thank You to ATC and the fire department for putting on such a great show. They put a lot of work and preparation into making their presentations both fun and entertaining. We’re fortunate to have such a team-oriented group of professionals working together to make Meadows Field truly an outstanding place to call home.

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Another Solo! Congratulations, Ted

CFI Mark Hargis cut the shirt tail on another client. Ted Richardson was all smiles today when he got to fly solo in a C-172.

Four New Private Pilots at BFC!

It has been a busy few months at the Bakersfield Flying Club.  4 members earned their wings!


2 Solo Flights for CFI Antony

We all have moments, flights, even days in aviation that we remember. That force us to smile, frown or maybe even wince (how bad was that landing?). I was lucky enough to have one of those happy, lots of smiles with a sprinkling of pride days on 22 December 2015. Even though the weather was grey and the rain threatened all day (in fact all around KBFL there were clouds and rain), at KBFL we were blessed with a pocket of no rain and only occasional turbulence for most of the day.

The morning started for Jamie VanderPoel with downpours at her home in Pixley, a flurry of texts between us where we determined that the weather at the airport was suitable for her to attempt her solo. After checking her area weather briefing and other preflight preparations, she made a quick call to her family to let them know that they should make the journey to the airport to come cheer her on.

We went out and Jamie dealt with everything that was thrown at her including an unusual/unexpected request. The Tower instructed her to make right traffic, we thus expected to land on 30R. Then on the downwind, just as she as preparing landing setup, we were asked if we could make a short approach to 30L, We looked at each other, it was decided we could and Jamie made a second beautiful landing. (I call her the Queen of the landing flare).

After a third landing, we taxied back to BFC, I jumped out and it was time for Jamie to take to the skies for her first official stint as PIC. On my way back to the clubhouse I met a handsome smiling man and a beautiful, freckled young lady sporting video cameras, John and Alicia (Jamie’s husband and eldest daughter) were so obviously beaming with pride. I spent a few minutes explaining the routine and answering their questions as they filmed Jamie’s taxi and takeoff. 3 landings and takeoffs later Jamie returned beaming. It was hard to tell which one of the 4 of us was beaming the most. I was very proud of Jamie. She had worked hard and conquered some of her fears to get to this point and she did a brilliant job. Pictures/videos, congratulations, hugs and kisses (no kisses from me , from her husband and daughter of course) followed, including the ceremonial cutting of the shirt back, before Jamie and family went off to a celebratory lunch.

I was just about to get some lunch when I turned around and there stood Ryan Butler half an hour early. Of course he was excited, with a tinge of nervousness and a little apprehension. He too had been watching the weather all day. But after checking the weather we determined the conditions still seemed good for the potential solo. Oh I forgot to mention that Ryan and I had flown together the previous day, but due to fading daylight he was unable to solo. I think that may have had some influence on him turning up early. The usual preflight preparations were followed by another 3 circuits around the pattern. One thing that makes me smile so much with Ryan now, is how often he takes his hands off the yoke to literally “wiggle his fingers”. His confidence and abilities have grown exponentially compared to where he was at when we first flew together. I’m sure Ryan wont mind me saying, that first ride really made the hairs on my head stand on end!

After he kicked me out of the plane, (did I mention how excited he was) he went off and did his solo PIC. When he came back he didn’t have his family cheerleaders, so I gave him a little happy dance and we ended up having a dance off competition, him in the plane, me out in front (I don’t think anyone saw us!). We were suddenly joined by Big Boss Webster checking there was no damage to the plane. Anyone that knows Fred knows his sense of humor. Again pictures, congratulations and cutting of the shirt and offering advice about how to cope with the face ache that follows the constant smiling for at least the next 24 hours.

Having worked so much with them both , I cannot really express here how proud I am of Ryan and Jamie. Getting here wasn’t easy for them, but two things really made this a special day for me:

1) Both Ryan and Jamie worked really hard to achieve this goal and were two extremely motivated students that I had the pleasure of working with.

2) They both really enjoyed themselves, which for them was an amazing transformation from how things were when we first started working together. They went from breaking out into a cold sweat at the mere mention of flying the plane solo, to being capable, confident, excited and a little nervous about the prospect of solo. They were smiling before the solo, they were positively beaming when they returned. And to see that in your clients as an instructor is priceless! Remember your first solo? I know I certainly do. Knowing that I played a small part in creating, and being able to share in that moment/memory of joy, is one of the things that gives my life a moment/memory I can cherish as an instructor. After all, don’t most of us fly because we love it?!