Not exactly sure what to write, other than a brief history of my flying, my faith, and what I do with my time now.
The major airlines have very good disability compensation packages if an individual pilot is grounded medically. I was at USAirways (now American) for 19 years, and Southwest for 12. I've always worked hard to save and live within my means. My wife and I do not have children and she is still a flight attendant at American Airlines. Between our savings and the disability I receive, for us the transition to me being 'unemployed' has been extremely smooth. Also, besides some minor neuropathy, I'm doing very well physically. I am not telling you all this to boast, but with the realization that many of those that suffer with this issue don't have it so good. I definitely don't want to come off sounding like I've won the lottery and now spend my days flying around, merrily hang gliding.
I am a Christian and a recovering alcoholic. As such, I felt a clear message for me was to use my time, talents, and experience in recovery to help others. I have been active the past 7 years with a local homeless shelter, in facilitating recovery meetings and mentoring. My faith has been a guiding light and this experience with McLeod. This for me is what I consider the 'next chapter'. My career has spanned everything in aviation from soloing in sailplanes at age 14, giving seaplane tours at age 18, flying fighters in the military, and spending 31 years flying for the airlines. My father is retired Delta Airlines and was a great guide and inspiration for through the years. I totaled around 25,000 hours of flying when I was diagnosed and grounded for flying fixed winged aircraft. Hang gliding and Ultralight aircraft do not require a medical certificate.
It's been a great run. Certain things I miss, but running off a cliff hanging by a couple of straps, under a large kite with a steering bar, has been a LOT of fun. Also, much can be aid of serving Him and serving others. He has me right where he wants me, and I am extremely grateful to be here.
[Check out more photos of Brad's activities in the image gallery below.]