Learning Experiences

September 1999 Issue

Sweet Dreams

‘As mistake after mistake piled up, I realized I needed help.’

I’d heard it numerous times from all my flight instructors: Never fly fatigued. I had prided myself in always following all of the flying rules from A to Z. However, on this particular night all reason left me as I prepared to fly a 250-mile solo night flight from Albert Lea, Minn., to Fargo, N.D.

I had just finished driving from my home in Chicago to Albert Lea, a six-hour drive, which had started at 1 o’clock that afternoon. I was tired as I rolled into Albert Lea to check in with my commercial instructor. He mentioned that I needed a 250-mile cross-country trip and five hours of night solo flight and said it was a beautiful night to accomplish both.

He asked if I was tired, but as a...

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