16 February 1989

Pounds and the patch

Liz and I went to England to visit my sister, Carol. Carol's husband, Bert, was stationed there in the military. I went to the local airport and inquired about renting an airplane. I presented my American pilot license, logbook and medical certificate. The airport manager said, "We don't care about all those things. We just want to know two things. First, can you fly around the patch with one of our men? And second, how many pounds do you have?" (The English monetary unit is pounds, not dollars.)

I presented my MasterCard, which took care of the pounds. He found a man to fly once around the traffic pattern with me. I am fairly sure that he was not a flight instructor. I think he was a pilot. For only $100 an hour I was able to fly a Grumman Traveler around the English countryside. I think it was worth it. (I later discovered it is illegal to fly an English registered airplane on an American license.)

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