Just landed at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island, WA

Photo by Anne Taylor

My First Airplane

My initial flight training started in January 2002 in a Cessna 172 at Bluffton, Ohio. My first solo flight was on June 16, 2003 in a Cessna 150 at Port Townsend WA.  I had accumulated 69 hours between the two models but never flew a Cessna again.

I bought the Archer on July 1, 2003 and earned my private pilot license in the airplane in December 2003, just a few days before the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight.

The Archer was an ideal first airplane as it was easy to fly and forgiving – hard to get into trouble and easy to get out.

The Archer took me places – to lunch with friends in the San Juan Islands in Washington, and day trips to destinations in Washington and Oregon. It took me on border-crossing flights to Victoria, Boundary Bay, Langley, Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke in British Columbia, plus Calgary on the other side of the Rocky Mountains. It took me to Napa, Monterey, and Palm Springs in California and to Scottsdale, Arizona

I sold it on July 1, 2011 - eight years to the day after I bought it.


Engine:                Lycoming O-360, 180 horsepower

Cruise speed:      118 knots (136 mph, 218 km/h)

Ceiling:                14,000 feet