Gregory F. Ricca, MD, FAANS, FACS
CFI; MEI; CFII; SES; AME [retired]
BPT: Greg, what first attracted you to aviation – and why?
GR: The ultimate freedom of flight is what first attracted me to aviation. The
science of flight, the vast amount of aircraft, airspace and human information keeps it exciting. The pleasure of flying is endless.
BPT: When did you learn how to fly – and where were you at the time?
GR: My introduction to flying was by my high school shop teacher, Mr. Paris. He started a flying club and taught me and many other students the basics of aircraft and what makes them fly. We were introduced to glider flight and I also was able to fly in his Citabria.
BPT: It is so important to have aviation mentors like Mr. Paris. Since then, which aircraft have you flown?
GR: Through BPT I have flown most Bonanza and Baron models available as well as Travel Airs. I have also owned an A-36 for 6 years and still fly the BE 58 I have had for 23 years. Other aircraft I’ve flown include Beech Duchess, J-3 Cub, Piper Archer, Piper Cherokee 6, Commander 112, Cirrus 22, King Air 90, J-3 on Floats, T-6 Texan, T-34 Mentor, Yak 52, Eclipse Jet, and many others.
BPT: So, Greg, what do you own and fly now?
GR: Currently, I own and fly a BE-58 and J-3 Cub.
BPT: Please share with us some of the highlights of your flying career.
GR: One of the best highlights has been the ability to fly my family all over North America. We have had countless amazing family vacations, hopping from place to place that could only be done with a private aircraft. Working with other BPT instructors and BPT clients is one of the most educational and fun opportunities of my lifetime. I always come away a better pilot.
BPT: How did you become involved with BPT?
GR: I first attended a Clinic in 1999 – then I was hooked. I was already a CFI and was lucky enough to be accepted as an instructor in the BPT program.
BPT: Fantastic! Greg, tell us why BPT is important to you.
GR: BPT provides me, my fellow instructors and our clients a special chance to have a great time while also becoming better, safer pilots.
BPT: What do you believe makes BPT unique?
GR: BPT provides unparalleled education because it brings together Beechcraft aficionado instructors and pilots. Beyond the well thought-out and well-presented classes, there is a comradery that provides pearls that cannot be found in other formats. The gatherings are comfortable for new and seasoned pilots alike: just “plane” fun!
BPT: Would you recommend BPT to a newly minted pilot?
GR: Absolutely, yes! BPT offers a large compilation of first-class, focused education on all that a Beechcraft pilot needs to begin his / her education.
BPT: How about for the seasoned pilot?
GR: Absolutely, yes! The curriculum is regularly updated. Even the most seasoned pilot will leave the course as a better, safer aviator.
BPT: Is there anything you would like to add?
GR: I recently wrote and presented a lecture regarding the aging aviator that applies to all of us (non-aviators as well). Join us at one of our clinics to hear it.