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Who would have thought that a red and white 1961 Piper Comanche 250 would change my life and jump start my career in aviation? My father and I took our last flight together in the spring of 2019 shortly after he received a diagnosis that gave him eight months to live. Flying gave us both a sense of peace in the face of impending tragedy.

After his passing, the sky continued to call me. Feeling like a sixteen-year-old getting to drive a Ferrari for the first time, I excitedly climbed into dad’s Piper Comanche as a student pilot alongside my instructor. Rolling down the runway, taking off into the blue Colorado sky, I sensed my dad sitting next to me. The memories of flying with him, and the joy that flying brought to his life had now lit a fire within me. I resolved in my heart to carry on my dad’s legacy by turning my lifelong dream of flying into reality, and setting all my sights on earning my pilot ratings.

I inherited my dad's Piper Comanche after his death. Distraught by his passing,  I understood I could not afford to keep and maintain such a high-performance aircraft, let alone afford the insurance at a time when my family was struggling with paying the medical bills that had mounted in his final months.

I decided to reach out to Chris Swathwood, owner of Altivation Aircraft Sales for assistance and guidance. Chris was thorough, consistent, and professional. He and his team at Altivation walked me through each step of the sales process and were so patient with me while I was grieving and having to make big decisions. On top of helping me sell the plane successfully to a wonderful buyer, Chris made a constant effort to reassure me that I was not giving up on my goal by having to sell the plane.

I'm so grateful that I connected with Chris and Altivation during that tough period in my life. Their expertise was impressive, but the care they showed me was even more so. Years later, whenever I meet someone who's looking to buy or sell an airplane, I connect them with Chris and share my story.

Little did I know back then that he would not only become one of my closest friends, but would soon reveal numerous connections and key opportunities that I never knew existed on the front range. Each of those steps in my journey led me to this year's Air Race Classic!


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