Midnight Mission Time Machine

Midnight Mission Time Machine

Midnight Mission Time MachineIt doesn’t happen everyday, but when it does, it is a vivid reminder to me of how magical and special general aviation is.
Last night I was afforded the opportunity to make general aviation a special part of someone’s life. The text message came in from a friend at 10:53 pm asking how late someone could charter a flight out of Van Nuys or Santa Monica.  Unfortunately, the reason for the flight was that one of their family members was “code blue” in ICU at a  hospital in Sacramento, and the first commercial flight wasn’t until 6am the following morning.  I knew it would be near impossible and time consuming to try to secure a charter that late at night.  However, I did have access to a couple of airplanes owned by a friend that I could fly.  I sent out texts trying to get approval from the owner to take the plane, but was unable to make contact with him.  However, I couldn’t let this formality stop me.  The owner is a commendable, giving person – not atypical of the many people I have been privileged to know while working in general aviation.   Knowing this about the owner made my decision easy.  I took his airplane in the middle of the night to help another family without a second thought about what his reaction would be.  He would be happy to help.  At 1:15 am I parked the airplane next to a waiting taxi.  My friends climbed ino the cab and arrived at the hospital before 1:30am – 6.5 hours before any commercial flight could have delivered them to Sacramento.  For me, this is general aviation, and is the closest thing to a time machine we have on planet earth.

Pilot Michael
Pilot Michael


  1. CloudDancer Says: June 13, 2012 at 11:40 am

    It is so COMPLETELY BUmfuzzling to me to look at the cockpit of a GenAv airsheen and see….EFIS! It just blows me away. But what can I say. I took my 1st flying lesson in 1967 in a J-3. I’m rapidly becoming a fossil….(sigh) Awesomely beautiful picture AND story though. I’ll give you that. I guess it’s stil “magic”. Just magic with microchips.

    • I meet so many wonderful people in General Aviation, I am happy to be able to share some of the stories.
      This is a Phenom 100 cockpit, loaded with a Garmin Avionics suite and the great standby EFIS you see in this photo. General Aviation was transformed in 2004 with the release of the G1000 integrated cockpit.
      To by honest, I think the cub is more fun to fly. Airspeed, ball and oil pressure. Who needs anything more?

  2. I love hearing stories such as this, it’s quite inspiring.

  3. That is so awesome to be able to do that! So many thoughts come to mind that it is staggering.

  4. I know you would Paul. Hope you have found an airplane to fly.

  5. cleveland Says: June 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    If I still owned “Sweetie”, I would have had no problem with your use of her services.

  6. This is just another great example of what general aviation can bring to people’s lives. Somtimes it is nothing more than the chance to say goodbye to a loved one.