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George Weber, N583GW

Unlike most morning commutes, the best part of George Weber’s day often turns out to be the trip to work. Weber starts his morning heading east, face to face with the rising sun and then flying right down the coastline from Port St. Lucy to Lantana, Fla. in his Commander 114.

 

“Every day is a new adventure,” Weber said. “The winds are always different. The sun is different. You get thunderstorms. It’s just an exciting way of life.”

Bitten by the aviation bug at a young age, Weber recalls collecting photos of military aircraft when he was about 10 years old. A decade or so later, he finally came face to face with the airplane that would change the aviation enthusiast into a true aviator.

For just $3, a flight instructor guided Weber to the skies in a J3 Cub. They took off in 1964 from a grass strip next to a cornfield in Trexlertown, Penn. “And I’ve course I wanted to come back tomorrow and do it all over again,” he said.

Flight training continued in various aircraft throughout the 1960s thanks to a steady job polishing cars during college.  He secured his private pilot’s license in 1967 and bought his first airplane, a Cessna Skyhawk, in 1969 for about $7,000. Every plane after the Skyhawk required more speed. 

“That wasn’t fast enough so I bought a  Cessna 182 Skylane, and when that wasn’t fast enough I bought a 210,” said Weber, who is also a hot air balloon pilot. “And then I decided I wanted a twin engine so I bought an Aztec (Piper PA-23).”

The upgrades stopped for a period in the 1970s when he split his time between homes in Pennsylvania and Florida. But his passion for flight never faded and he maintained a flight club membership in Daytona Beach, where he ran a Chrysler car dealership. The club allowed him to conduct business quite efficiently he said—by flying to auctions and enabling easy trades.

Additional aircraft purchases over the years included the Piper Cherokee 235, followed by the 180.

A service manager for Sarasota Avionics, Weber has owned 10 airplanes over the years, but met his match 21 years ago.

“People always ask me, which is the best airplane I’ve owned and I always tell them ‘It’s the next one.’ But right now it’s the Commander 114,” said Weber, who has logged more than 8,000 hours.

It’s the most comfortable aircraft he’s owned. Newly refurbished throughout the interior and painted within the last few years, the Commander features some of the latest equipment, such as the Garmin 750 and 255, and is ADS-B compliant for 2020.

 When he’s not flying to work and visiting customers, Weber enjoys taking the Commander to see friends throughout Florida and is known to make runs to Everglades City, Fla. for stone crab claws during season.

 “There’s something special about flight,” Weber said. “It’s exciting, but it’s also relaxing in the Commander. I take to the skies any chance I get. I just love it.”  

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