Flying With Dad: Stevan's Memories

Stevan's story as told to AOPA.

Photo courtesy of Stevan Hackett

My father John Hackett was a pilot in the US Air Force during the Korean War, he flew primarily large planes for transport and also reconnaissance. After the war, dad continued flying assorted airplanes but had a love for Beechcraft Bonanzas. For many years we took family vacations all over the US and Mexico and have many fond memories.

In 1980, I joined the family retail business as the 4th generation(we started in 1902). My father and I have worked side by side for 35 years,we flew to many business meetings over the 35 years.  I will always have gratitude for everything my father has taught me, and he had a lot to do with whom I have become. 

In January 2009, I finally got the bug to get my pilots license, I received my private the same year. I asked my dad for help purchasing an airplane. We looked at several beginner type aircraft ( warrior, archer, gruman tiger, etc.) but the demand for these planes kept the prices very high. My father also felt I should consider a Bonanza, but I was concerned it was to much plane for me. After more discussion with my instructor the decision was made to look for a Bonanza. My father helped through the purchase.

My father knew of a plane he once owned with a partner then sold it to him two years later, and it might be for sale. He had purchased this 1969 V35A Bonanza in 1975 and sold it in 1977. The previous partner still had the plane, and I purchased it in October 2009. I continued my training with a Bonanza pilot proficiency program, I received my instrument rating. My father and I have gone for many flights including from Illinois to Colorado, I always enjoy our common love of flying. 

My father is now 84, he retired in Estes Park, Colorado where I will be going this year for Fathers Day, then we will be attending Oshkosh in July. The attached Picture is the day I returned with my first plane with my dad.

Thanks for the memories dad!

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