Twelve months to the day and several inches taller
Michael Francis Tiefenbach was the first person I wrote about in this blog and everything that I wrote a year ago still rings true. Michael was a man of few words then and not much has changed. What has changed is the degree of confidence and complete competence that Michael exhibits each time that he gets into an airplane. He has an incredible inner drive and expects the best of himself each time that he exercises his privilege as Pilot in Command.
On Friday May 28th, his seventeenth birthday, and one year to the day that he soloed N5443L he became a licensed Private Pilot. I was taxiing out to the runway when Michael was returning from his check ride and I knew that he had passed because his communication was as animated and happy as any I had ever heard him make. It was also at this moment that I realized that another chapter in my life, as a flight instructor, was coming to a close and, as always, it was bittersweet knowing that I would no longer share the cockpit with Michael or see his wonderful supportive parents as frequently as I had over the past year. Thank you Cindy and Brian for sharing this experience with me and being as involved as you were in making this day happen. Thank you Michael for allowing me to guide you through the process. You have wonderful skills, you challenged yourself every step of the way and your desire to be as good as you could be made my part in this very easy.