jeudi 10 février 2011

2010, Part One: Our Plane

I've decided to cut my post on 2010 into five parts, as it's just too long for a single one.

Part One: Our Plane
Part Two: Finishing my M.A.
Part Three: Our New Jobs
Part Four: Our Trip Out West
Part Five: Our Wedding

It was quite the year!

It all started with a big purchase: a 1979 four-seater Cessna airplane with turbo engine and retractable gear (wheels). Also known as “the minivan” of private aircraft because of its (relatively) large cargo capacity.
This photo was taken the first time I saw the plane, after it had been imported into Canada.

In fact, the ball got rolling right before Christmas, when MB’s dad agreed to lend us a large amount of money for said purchase. We had been talking about buying a plane for a while—ever since MB moved to Ottawa, in fact. MB wanted a fast, sporty two-seater. I wanted room for kids, arguing that buying and selling a plane was probably not a simple process (boy was I right) and we might as well buy a “family-sized” plane right away.

When we got back from Christmas vacation, MB immediately started researching different planes. He took it very seriously, making up Excel spreadsheets to compare different models, printing out ads, and making up folders to sort out all the information he needed for the purchase. He's the one who looked into storage fees, insurance, loans, etc. I felt very much the "wife" when he showed me pictures of the planes he was considering and asked me if I liked the colours. But then again, I felt ok with leaving the shopping up to him as I didn't know much -- well, nothing at all, in fact -- about planes. Especially used ones. MB would be the one who did the flight tests, inspections (with certified maintenance engineers), and so forth anyway. We did discuss where we would park the plane once we had it, how we would pay for it, and what total costs were involved (yearly maintenance, engine overhaul, etc.).

Since I was busy with my M.A. (more on that later), I was actually quite happy to leave all the work to MB. One day, he announced "I think I've found the one"! He was happy because it had a turbo engine - I was happy because it had four seats and the price was right. The actual purchasing process was incredibly stressful, and again, I was glad to let MB handle most of it.

Finally, FINALLY, several weeks after actually purchasing the plane, flying it to Canada, getting it inspected, repaired, and then "Canada-certified", we flew it to Ottawa. It was finally here! We were actually plane owners!

We realized what an exclusive club we now belonged to when a guy at the flying club (where we keep our plane) casually told MB he'd sell him his house for really cheap - $400,000! Yeah, right. It's actually kind of embarassing to tell people we own a plane -- they all automatically think we're millionaires. And usually ask me if MB is a doctor. We may be plane owners, but we're far from rich - we just made a lifestyle choice! We don't have cable, or fancy cell phones; we only have one car (that's paid off); we live in an apartment.

We took our first major trip with our plane in May, taking off just days after I had submitted the final version of my M.A. thesis.

(Continued in Part Two...)

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