Reliving our past

Lord ’ s Cove native flying high

Published on March 17, 2017

Stephanie Fitzpatrick, a 19-year-old Lord ’ s Cove native, is also an accomplished pilot. She recently flew a Cherokee Arr ow single- engine plane from the Moncton Flight College in New B runswick, where she is enrolled in a two-year Aviation Technolog y diploma program, to the Winterland Airstrip to spend her mid-ter m break with her family.

©TC Media file photo

This article was originally published in the March 9, 1999 edition of The Southern Gazette.

Stephanie Fitzpatrick has been hooked on flying ever since a trip to the National Aviation Museum in Ottawa when she was 10-years-old.

The 19-year-old Lord’s Cove native, now residing in New Brunswick, has parlayed her life-long love of airplanes into a potential career, and is presently enrolled at the Moncton Flight College where she is completing a two-year diploma in Aviation Technology.

Thursday, the young pilot flew a Cherokee Arrow, single engine plane on a solo flight from Moncton, New Brunswick to the Winterland Airstrip, where she was met by her family.

“I have always liked the idea of flying,” she said. “The course I’m presently taking, which will finish in June, will give me a commercial and multi-IFR rating, so hopefully I can get a job with a commercial company. My ultimate goal is to work for Air Canada, but they won’t accept an application until I have logged 2,000 hours of flying time.

“When I finish the course, I will have 200 hours, so I’ll have to go somewhere else first to build up my flying requirement before I can apply. But once I get a job with them, they provide the training.”

With such high aspirations, it wasn’t a surprise to Ms. Fitzpatrick’s family when she landed safely at the Winterland Airstrip, especially given the fact it is her second long-distance journey this month.

“One of the requirements for this course is to complete a long cross-country trip, and I flew into New York,” she said. “After that flight, when my mid-term break approached, I decided I wanted to come home. I logged a flight plan with the flight college, giving the 48 hours notice, and they reviewed it, and gave me permission to fly home. Hopefully I’ll make the trip back on Saturday or Sunday if the weather cooperates.”

The weather played a little havoc with Ms. Fitzpatrick’s flight to Newfoundland. The journey, which took just under seven hours, was interrupted with an over night stay in Sydney, Nova Scotia, due to bad weather.

The plane was again delayed in taking off from Sydney when cold weather resulted in the plane frosting over.

But, all in all, the pilot said she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

“The only time I was a little nervous on my trip down was when I flew over the strait,” she said. “I have never flown over such a large body of water before, but thankfully my trip was relatively uneventful.

“I love the experience I get from flying, and I wouldn’t trade it.”