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The Pilot's Bucket List: 10 Things to Do Before You Retire

The Pilot’s Bucket List: 10 Things to Do Before You RetireYou’ve heard of a bucket list — a personal list of things a person wants to do before they die. Here’s, in no particular order, a bucket list specifically for pilots with 10 cool things to do before you retire from flying.

  1. Take off from and land on water in a seaplane. This action-filled adventure was one of the opening scenes of the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" movie for a reason. The splash and rumble of the pontoons hitting the water as you land is a real adrenaline rush!
  2. Fly over an iconic bridge or monument. Security has tightened in our post-9/11 world, but if possible, take a spin around an iconic national monument, bridge or statue — legally, of course!
  3. Do a night flight over a city. The city skyline lit up underneath you is nothing short of romantic. Night flying also tends to be quieter with less air traffic.
  4. Take a kid up in the air. Who took you on your first flight and contributed to you wanting to become a pilot? Return that favor and do the same for a young eagle.
  5. Fly for charity. There are many things to love about flying and being a pilot. Take it to the next level by donating your time and expertise to fly a sick person to a hospital or deliver a homeless animal to its new owner.
  6. Take an autumn foliage flight. The best view of fall’s brilliant colors is from the seat of a low flying aircraft about 500 feet above the tree tops.
  7. Fly to and take off from an island. Remember the phrase, "The plane, the plane!" from the TV show, "Fantasy Island?" It’s even more exciting when you're the one piloting it.
  8. Experience the thrill of a single-engine prop plane. Get in touch with aviation’s past by taking off from a large field or farm in a single prop piper cub or similar old style plane.
  9. Attend EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. One week each summer, more than 500,000 EAA members and aviation enthusiasts from more than 60 countries attend EAA AirVenture — the world’s largest fly-in — at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. For dates and details, visit airventure.org.
  10. Attend a fly-in and bond with fellow pilots. Pilots can sometimes spend many hours alone. Attending a fly-in, meeting fellow pilots from around the country and sharing stories is an incredibly enjoyable aspect of being in this exclusive aviators "club." We hope to see you at one of our fly-ins this summer!

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