CJP Member Since: Companion member since 2013
Occupation: School teacher, retired
Spouse/Partner: Thomas Garritano
Current Aircraft: Citation Mustang and 2011 Skylane
Home base: Chicago
Number of years flying: 4
Total time: 450
Dream aircraft: I’m in it – the Mustang!
- Can you describe your introduction to general aviation?
Tom started flying lessons in 2007 shortly after we met. I watched in awe as he moved from novice pilot to single-pilot rated in the Mustang. The Mustang was his first airplane purchase back in December of 2012. Personally, I was content as a passenger until we attended our first CJP convention in 2013 and I attended the “Companion Course.” I walked out of the Mustang after my two-hour lesson and was hooked!
- You recently obtained your instrument rating…what inspired you to pursue the training?
Last summer, I flew in a Skylane in the Air Race Classic – an all-women’s cross country race in VFR conditions. After flying for four days from Frederick, MD to Santa Fe, NM, I was ready to learn how to fly through rather than around the clouds. The Mustang being my overarching inspiration. That is the airplane I ultimately want to fly.
- What are your flight training goals?
1) Earn my seaplane rating in the ICON A5 this summer. 2) Obtain my multi-engine and SIC in the Mustang prior to the CJP annual convention later this year.
- What do you enjoy most about the Citation Mustang? Your typical mission?
I really enjoy sitting in the right seat, working the radios and flying the jet. I also LOVE sharing our flights with friends. This summer alone, we are flying to a wedding in California, ferrying “Racer Chasers” to Mac Island in Michigan (for the end of the Chicago-Mac Island sailboat race) and helping my harp teacher attend a class reunion in Virginia.
- Can you tell us about one of your most memorable trips in the Citation?
The CJP Regional event in Washington DC this past April is a trip that will remain an all-time favorite. The behind-the-scenes tours of the Dulles Airport and Udvar-Hazy Center were remarkable…how can one top cocktails by an SR71 then dinner next to the Discovery Shuttle? A special highlight – I was reading the plaque that listed all of the missions of the Discovery when Charlie Precourt, former NASA astronaut, reached over my shoulder and pointed to one mission and said, “that was my last flight.”