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Out of the Blue Aviation closes its doors
ARLINGTON — A six-year career in aviation came to a close with a Saturday afternoon potluck in an Arlington Airport hangar, and Cathy Mighell was joined by plenty of friends and colleagues who wished her well, even as they wished that she wasn’t saying farewell.
“Cathy is a wonderful individual who’s always been excited about aviation,” said John Coffey, president of the Aerobatic Club of Washington state. “Her enthusiasm brought all sorts of new people into the field. I’m sorry to see her leave the airport, because she’s introduced so many people to flying here.”
Maj. Mike Talley, of the Civil Air Patrol in Arlington, helped Mighell rehab the building that came to house her business, Out of the Blue Aviation, and while he acknowledged that she had reached a point in her life where she needed to make a transition, he will still miss the presence of her flight school.
“A lot of students will be wondering where they can learn to fly now,” Talley said.
Mighell herself regrets closing down Out of the Blue, but after she received an offer for her hangar building, all the talks she had to try and find a buyer for the business came to naught.
“I will always have very fond memories of my days here,” Mighell said. “I have been truly blessed to have a job I loved so much, working with great people and airplanes too. What could have been better? The adventures and challenges and people of Out of the Blue Aviation will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Mighell has already sold her fixtures and supplies, including the two Cessna 172 aircraft, and offered for customers and compatriots one last day of fellowship and food in her now-former hangar on Saturday, Feb. 11.
“Although there is some sadness as we wrap up the end of a wonderful era, there is also anticipation of great new adventures ahead for all of us here at Out of the Blue Aviation,” Mighell said. “Many of you have asked, ‘What now?’ One of the projects I am working on is a novel that takes place near here.”
Mighell acknowledges that the story of her novel’s protagonist, a pilot whose mother owns a flight school north of Seattle, bears more than a passing similarity to her own experiences. She asked that those who know her from Out of the BlueAviation sign in to “follow” her blog, at www.outoftheblueaviation.blogspot.com, to demonstrate to prospective publishers that her work has a built-in audience.
“You will not be plagued with emails,” Mighell said. “It could also be a great way to stay in touch with the adventures of friends you have made here. And when the book gets published, you will be the first to know. Who knows? You might recognize a few people in it.”
“This is a real loss to the airport,” said Todd Bohon, who’s worked in the aviation field for 30 years. “Out of the Blue Aviation was friendly, personable and professionally run. Cathy has done a lot to promote the cause of women in aviation. The average age of aviators now is 50-plus. If this field is going to survive, we’ve got to get younger.”