Logan Hass admits to a slight fear of heights. When the 23-year-old flight instructor began taking flying lessons at 16, the fear dissipated. “It’s like a drug,” he says. “Once you do it, you’re either hooked or you’re not.” With nearly eight years of experience in the air and more than 2,000 successful landings with Tri-State Aero, Hass wouldn’t trade his job for anything.
A little anxious about heights ourselves, Evansville Living Art Director Heather Gray and I found comfort in our pilot’s story. Hass is a professional who takes each trip through the skies seriously. Just two hours before our scheduled joyride across Evansville, Hass called with a heads up that the sky was safe for flying, but was going to be a bit bumpy. He was right.
Providing aviation products and services since 1963, Tri-State Aero has become Southern Indiana’s leading fixed base operator (a commercial business allowed to operate on an airport and provide aeronautical services). Aside from charter flights, maintenance, fueling, and flight school, Tri-State Aero also offers 45-minute joyrides for anyone wanting a quick, inexpensive, and scenic ride 2,500 feet above the ground.
In a small, four-seater 1978 Cessna 172 airplane, Hass flew us over Newburgh, Ind., and then to the University of Southern Indiana’s campus, pointing out landmarks such as the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park that was hit by the 2005 tornado and Downtown’s Casino Aztar. (We even caught a glimpse of Evansville Living’s Second Street office.) Due in part to the size of the plane, we could feel every turn, every bump, and every movement the plane made, allowing for a true, old-fashioned flying experience with all of the safety of modern technology. Hass put us at ease from the beginning, explaining step-by-step the safety precautions, and showing us how each button, pedal, and gadget controls the plane. Once we landed, the plane’s windows were immediately cleaned and the gas tank was refueled.
Need to Know
Tri-State Aero is located at 6101 Flightline Drive, by the Evansville Regional Airport off U.S. Highway 41, and offers joyrides every day of the week. Take a 45-minute flight across Evansville for just $40 per person, or take a hands-on introductory flight lesson for $99, where you learn the basics of taking off, cruising, and descending. To schedule an appointment, call 812-426-1221.