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It’s not every day we get to see the ins and outs of a pilot’s trip to Bessie’s, but Matty sent us a video of the journey from his home base to Bessie’s Diner when he reached out to be our next Featured Flyer. Though he’s been flying for less than five years, Matty’s made a few solo cross-country trips and stopped in Janesville along the way, and he belongs to the Racine Sports Flyers.

Learn more about Matty and his plane by reading our Q&A:

What airport did you fly in from?

I flew in from KRAC, Racine’s Batten International Airport.

How did you get into aviation and flying?

My mom’s brother flies a 1949 Clipper and I really enjoyed going up with him. He kept saying, “Just do it! Become a pilot!” So, I just started studying and found a local flight school.

How many years have you been flying?

I have been flying for about four years. April of 2016 was my first lesson and I passed my sport pilot checkride on May 4th, 2017. I continued on with just a little more training and passed my private pilot checkride, which allows me to take more passengers and fly at night.

Tell us a little bit about your plane:

I fly a Flight Design CTLS. It is a two-passenger light sport with a modern glass panel and is equipped with a full airplane parachute system. It flies as slow as 40 mph and can reach speeds of about 130 mph. It is a roomy airplane and the cockpit is 6 inches wider than a Cessna 182.

It can travel about seven hours on one tank of fuel burning 4.5 gallons per hour of premium auto fuel. Powered by a Rotax 912 engine. With four hours of fuel, the plane can hold 421 lbs. of people and luggage.

We love the Racine Sport Flyers. What’s your favorite thing about being in a flying club?

Being in a flying club is a great way to start flying. It costs less than owning and puts you in a good position to learn about airplanes and meet others who fly. My favorite thing about the flying club is when something breaks, like a strobe light, I don’t have to pay for it haha. It is a nice peace of mind knowing the planes are being maintained and will be ready to go for me.

Any other interesting stories involving the JVL airport or flying around Rock County?

The Janesville Airport will always have a special place in my memory as it was a landing point on my first cross-country solo. We fly out of a non-towered airport and KJVL is a great way to get tower experience and a great meal.

Favorite Bessie’s Diner menu item:

Coffee! The omelets are awesome and I love breakfast.

Where did you get the name Charlie Tango?

Ohh I see you have watched my video… It’s what they call me at the bar! Or is it something else? Watch my video and subscribe to WingnutsWorld.

We love that you took your mom to Bessie’s! Does she enjoy flying with you to new places like this?

My mom loves going up in the plane. I’m always surprised she has no fear at all. Sunday mornings are a great time to get breakfast and she has flown around the state with me.

What did you enjoy most about flying to and eating at Bessie’s Diner?

I love that Bessie’s encourages people to fly in and eat. Often, as newer pilots, we are not really sure if we are wanted landing at airports all over the state. But, we are welcome everywhere and when there is an aviation-themed restaurant, it is always more fun.



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