Volunteer Pilot Dr. Matt Bogard shares his family's story of their Comanche Airplane
Matt Bogard, MD, volunteer pilot assisting with recent evacuations in the Fremont, Nebraska area after flooding, tells the story of his airplane.
Recently, Dr. Bogard served as a volunteer pilot of humanitarian flights when severe flooding required the evacuation of people from the Fremont, Nebraska area, as reported by KETV News, Report of March 19, 2019, "Teens reunited with parents after spending the weekend stranded in Fremont," https://www.ketv.com/
Dr. Bogard assisted with the evacuation, and was quoted in the article "It's about a 12-minute flight for me to get back and forth, one way. So we're able to move folks quickly," said Matt Bogard, a volunteer pilot. Here is the story of Dr. Bogard's airplane: "Occasionally when I'm adding to my logbook, I take a few minutes to review previous entries. Most of the columns contain data important for currency and accumulating experience towards additional ratings, as well as calculating hours for the insurance company. However, it's the "Comments" column I spend the most time reviewing. Visiting family in St. Louis, spending the weekend with friends in Minneapolis, trying a new BBQ restaurant, picking up our new puppy Piper in Kansas, IFR Checkride, first approach in IMC, our daughter's first flight—these entries jog memories of many exciting adventures, most of which were only possible because of our Comanche. I had long been interested in aviation as my grandfather was an avid pilot and I grew up just a couple miles from a small airport. I earned my license 14 years ago while in college and, thanks to a few generous friends who were willing to rent and share their planes, I continued to build hours on the very stringent budget of a college student.
Whenever the discussion of aircraft ownership arose my grandfather would boast the Comanche was the best aircraft ever built—he's owned a 1959 Comanche 180, N6278P, for over 35 years. The more research I did and the more airplanes I flew in, the more I agreed with him. Our Comanches are a great balance of speed, payload, reliability, handling, comfort, and downright sexiness. As I finished medical school and finances improved, I began eyeing a Comanche 250 in the hangar next to the Warrior I was flying. I had several good conversations with the owner, and he told me he would call if he ever thought about selling it. The best copilot I could ever have.
In April 2011, I received the call. John was ready to sell his Comanche 250, N5825P, if I was still interested. It was a clean airframe with a recent paint job (R&B in Topeka, KS), new leather interior (Mike's Upholstery at North Omaha Airport), Osborne Tip Tanks, an STEC 60-2 autopilot, a relatively low-time engine overhauled by a respected shop (Firewall Forward in Colorado Springs), and a 3-blade McCauley prop. It went through an annual inspection with no big issues, and the purchase was finalized.
Six years and 525 hours later, our Comanche has provided us with more memories than we can count. The ability to quickly and efficiently travel around the Midwest has led to many trips we would never have undertaken if we had to drive or fly the airlines. Minneapolis, Chicago, Louisville, St. Louis, Tulsa, Oshkosh, and Kansas City are all easy hops. On top of that, short flights around the area to bore holes in the sky and enjoy $100 hamburgers helped preserve my sanity during the tumultuous years of residency.
The Story of Dr. Bogard's airplane:
Dr. Matthew Bogard serves as volunteer Pilot: https://www.ketv.com/
Matthew Bogard, MD
Iowa and Nebraska