7th Anniversary Post: A Strange Year

It’s been quite a year since I penned the 6th Anniversary Post for ReviewBeforeFlight a year ago. Going into 2020 I had plans of getting back into flying general aviation aircraft, continuing to be active with my local EAA chapter and of course getting married to my copilot for life, Emily. Thanks to COVID, 2020 looked a lot different as we all made sacrifices and changed our ways of life to adapt to a pandemic.

For the second consecutive year, I did not fly in a general aviation aircraft. My journey to rusty pilot and back continues. I have been working on a written summary of my journey from active flight instructor to less active pilot to occasional renter to rusty pilot. My goal is to get current and proficient and share my journey here. Even though flight training was able to resume as we moved through 2020 in Massachusetts, the idea of being in a small aircraft with someone for an hour plus at a time didn’t seem like a prudent idea for me given the hobby nature of my flying. Hopefully as we get into 2021 with a vaccine taking hold, the opportunity to get back into GA flying will present itself for me.

The second item on my list of being involved with my local EAA chapter was a partial check in the box. I enjoyed serving as the President of EAA Chapter 51, the Cape Cod Chapter. We were able to hold an event in February, our 1st Anniversary celebration and open house. We packed the Compass Room at Rectrix in Hyannis for this, but that was it really it. I was also among a number of members who donated time to help clean and restore artifacts and displays for the Massachusetts Air & Space Museum earlier in the year. Other than that we met in person one other time for an outdoor socially distanced meeting at the Falmouth Airpark during the summer to have pizza during a monthly meeting. The balance of the meetings were over Zoom, which provided a unique way for the chapter to continue meeting. Even with the remote nature of our meetings we still managed to grow membership by more than 30% over 2020, an amazing stat if you ask me.

The highlight for me was October 10, 2020 when I married the love of my life, Emily, in Naples, Florida. We were married on a rooftop deck overlooking the Gulf of Mexico on a high-rise above Vanderbilt Beach. COVID impacted this event too, rather than the large event we were envisioning and planning before COVID, we had to scale it way back, so the only attendees that day were our two sets of parents, the pastor and photographer. It was a very small ceremony, but it really was perfect.

Here on ReviewBeforeFlight, my posts have slowed down over the past few years. This makes sense since I’m flying less… But I’m not ready to turn the site off, as viewership remains strong, with more unique visitors this year than the site has ever had! Thank you to the other writers who have contributed during 2020 and to everyone who stopped by to check out our catalog of posts from the past seven years.

I hope you’ll continue to check in from time to time with us during 2021!

-Fly Safe, @MTElia1B9