By Connor Barrett & Armon Haghighat

Flight school, a part time job, and working towards earning a four-year college degree with the ultimate goal of flying for a major airline can be stressful and overwhelming at times. Countless hours of studying, running from class to class, and flying in work clothes is what it’s going to take to become a commercial airline pilot that many dream about.

payson pie run 2

In spite of dealing with all of these stresses, it is important to never forget why we began flying; the simple joy of feeling the airplane gliding through the sky and forgetting the worries that await us on the ground.

Hours of studying for several final exams and then switching to focus on earning an instrument rating, calls for a stress reliever. The only way we could see to relieve this stress? A quick flight to Payson Airport (KPAN) for a slice of pie! After switching from coffee shop to coffee shop, hoping that a change in environment would help us regain focus to study, the only option was to drive to the airport and jump in the airplane.

We quickly put a small flight plan together, received a weather briefing, and completed the pre-flight inspection. With the plane ready to go, clear skies forecasted, and our flight plan loaded in the GPS, we eagerly taxied the airplane to runway 21 at Scottsdale Airport. Northbound departure approved by the tower and our mini adventure has begun. Climbing to 7,500 feet the stress of the day seemed to fade away as we climbed higher, and came closer to our destination. Ten miles out we began the descent checklist and started down into KPAN. A smooth landing on runway 24 and a quick taxi to the Crosswinds Restaurant ended the 40-minute flight to Payson Airport. We quickly tied down the airplane and walked into the restaurant for that slice of pie that we had been thinking about during the entire flight.

Relaxing at the Crosswinds Restaurant, looking out the window watching other inbound aircraft land, and talking about the pleasures of aviation is exactly what we needed to clear our minds and regain focus on studying. We thanked the friendly staff at the restaurant and walked out to the ramp with our bellies filled of homemade pie. Our mini adventure was coming to an end, but we were ready to tackle the books once again!

We did a quick walk around of the airplane and departed runway 24 back to our home airport, Scottsdale. This mini adventure is exactly what we needed to relax and let our minds recover from all of the studying. The simple pleasure of soaring through the sky and feeling limitless left us ready to conquer any exam with confidence! Payson Airport (KPAN) is on AZPilotLife’s list of quick getaways to refresh and relax!

Safe Flying!


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