Shannon Gallagher is a PILOT!!

I have always been interested in flying since I was young but the timing just wasn’t right. Then about 4 years ago I met my other half, Chuck, who just happened to have a 1940 Taylorcraft. Soon after I started to take instruction at our local airport. After almost a year and a half of time my instructor backed out because of airport politics.

Shannon Gallagher 1 cutting my shirt tail my first solo with first instructor

At this point my student pilot cert was getting ready to expire. I didn’t fly for almost 2 years, when we found Donnie my new instructor. He was really great.  I was scheduled after only 3 weeks with him for my check-ride. Then the day before the exam the weather went to heck, and stayed that way for over a month. By this time Donnie had taken on a permanent job flying a twin for some guy in Nashville. Once again I was left without an instructor and no ticket.

Shannon Gallagher 1 Taking off on my solo x-country

By accident we happen to find Buzz. Unlike the other instructors I had he was a full time instructor, so I gave it a shot. We flew together once and the winds got a bit out of line for the airplane so we continued on the next Tuesday. Then flew again on Thursday. Thursday night he said to pack a bag and meet him by 7 AM the next morning, We were going to West Memphis, Arkansas for my Check Ride. Needless to say my nerves jumped, wondering if I was really ready for this that soon. Friday morning arrived and Buzz and I flew to West Memphis Airport.

The flight was absolutely great it was really great weather so I was pleased. Because we were flying into Class B airspace we had to radio the tower at Memphis center one mile out, and asked to be tracked thru the airspace. Once thru their airspace and being rerouted once because of air traffic we finally reached the West Memphis Airport. We spent the rest of the day running thru all the maneuvers and getting me familiar with the area by air, then spent all late afternoon and evening studying and going over everything for the Oral part of the Exam. We finally called it quits at about 11:30 that night.

At 7:30 Saturday morning my check-ride began. Needless to say I had a real case of nerves but Buddy Made me feel really comfortable. I went thru all the oral and next thing I knew we were out to the plane. Once all procedures had been gone thru we were in the air and started our flight. Everything went well but as examiners go he never let on how I was doing. Once back on the ground he looked over at my instructor and smiled and said I’m cutting her loose. Then he took my hand and said congratulations you’ve passed your check-ride.

Those were the best few words I ever heard. My first reaction was grab my phone and call home to let Chuck know I passed. I feel absolutely like I’m floating. Probably will for a while. Now I’m going to enjoy just flying the plane and having fun.


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