Nadine Buckley
Ottawa, Ontario
Published In
Canadian Flight

Nadine Buckley is an award winning graphic designer who lives and works in the Ottawa area. You might say she was brought up in planes. Her dad Mike has been flying for years with first a Cessna Cardinal then more recently a Cessna Cutlass floatplane serving as the family car. Her sister Tanya is also an active pilot, but while Nadine enjoyed flying, she had little interest in getting a pilot’s license until her dad brought home a video tape of the Challenger.

“It’s the total freedom of this kind of flying that got to me. This is not a world full of air traffic controllers, complicated machinery and regimentation. Instead it is a simple and serene feeling providing a beautiful freedom and a very different kind of flying experience. Turning off the engine and soaring in silence is not the kind of thing you do with a Cessna, but you do in a Challenger. Floats, wheels and skis offer other enticing possibilities. I was hooked and dad and Tanya were too.”

“I now had to get trained, but there are not many places in the Ottawa area where you can get an ultralight license. I turned to Claude Roy at the CFAG club in Buckingham. He had a full quota of students but I was persistent and he kindly gave in.”

“I’ll never forget my first solo. It was a terrific thrill to be up in the air on my own, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. I had taken off a little before sunset and as the sun got lower I lost sight of the airport. There wasn’t much daylight left and I couldn’t find the field in the long shadows. At first I was nervous, but then the training kicked in and I simply selected a good field and landed. Claude was pleased with my decision and I felt proud of myself for having my first out landing go so smoothly.”

“I have to say that ski flying is my favorite. I am told that most airplanes can be very tricky in the snow, particularly if it is heavy or deep, but not so with this one. I’ve attended the last two Challenger Owners Association winter fly-ins. The flight down the river to Montreal is low and slow all the way. And for me everything is my runway. I get a kick out of the many hand waving invitations from fishermen. The skidooers beneath me think they’re in the Indy 500, but they never win!”

“Overall, to fly the Challenger is an incredible experience for me. It’s not just the flying, it’s everything that comes with it. It’s inexplicable.”

“All I can say is: Just do it!”

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