We get pilots from all over that fly into Bessie’s Diner for breakfast and lunch, and this month’s Featured Flyer is Arthur, a pilot from Illinois. He took a 31-year hiatus from flying, it’s in his blood and Arthur continues to grow that passion through his involvement in Chicagoland aviation associations (and by flying to Bessie’s, of course).
We were able to ask Arthur some questions about his time in the cockpit and the organizations he’s apart of. Take a couple minutes to see what he had to say!
What airport do you fly out of to get to Bessie's? Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK)
How did you get into flying? My father was a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force and owned a Piper Tri-Pacer and then an Apache in Winnipeg, Canada, where I grew up. We used to fly to northern Canada fishing, then I started flying at 15 and soloed three weeks after my 16th birthday. Received my Transport Canada certificate on the day of my 17th birthday, making me the youngest pilot in Canada at that time.
How many years have you been flying? I flew for four years, gave it up for 31, then have been flying again since 2013.
What is the function of the Chicago Executive Pilots Association? We provide advocacy, education and social events for pilots who utilize Chicago Executive, formerly Palwaukee (KPWK), and I’m the president of CEPA. We also have a sister organization that provides scholarships for those in Illinois who want to attend an aviation program in college.
What is the function of COPA? It is the Cirrus Owners and Pilots’ Association and I’m the treasurer. We have three organizations: An association for social functions (the C7), a Safety and Education Foundation (C3) that puts on safety seminars, and a Training LLC, which puts on the COPA Pilot Proficiency Programs.
Tell us about your plane: It is a 2006 normally aspirated Cirrus SR 22, with built in O2, Avidyne IFD series avionics, Avidyne autopilot, Alpha Systems angle of attack indicator and CIES digital gas gauges.
Any interesting stories about flying into the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport? My wife went to UW-Madison, so it was interesting flying into MSN and over the city. I also just like flying into KJVL.
Favorite Bessie’s Diner menu item: Love the chicken sandwich and your omelets.
What do you enjoy most about Bessie’s Diner? The convenience, food, atmosphere and price.