Unit4

I’m a consultant working for Unit4 in Sweden and “Fly with Bo” is an initiative I started as part of the Staff Association we run. The Staff Association arranges subsidized activities for its members like going to the theatre to see a play, wine tasting, boat excursions and more. Now we can also offer flying in a small plane on a sightseeing tour in the vicinity of Stockholm...


 

The whole idea of “Fly with Bo” came about in 2013. I got my pilot’s certificate in 2012 and found that several colleagues in the office wanted to go for a trip. I took a few of them flying but wanted to extend the offer to other colleagues, so they could also enjoy the experience. From this year, anyone in Unit4 Sweden can participate. Most people have never flown in a small aircraft before, so it is both a thrill and a nice way of socializing with your officemates. It gives the participants something to talk about, and I enjoy sharing something that I love to do. Everyone wins!

So far this year, three people have been on a trip but there are at least five more (plus family members) who are interested at this time. The first flight took us out over the Stockholm archipelago – which is very beautiful from the air – consisting of some 30,000 islands. We also got permission from Air Traffic Control to enter the airspace just above the city center of Stockholm. We circled above the Old Town and took some pictures before leaving. The final leg took us over the lake of Mälaren, where we could see the Drottningholm castle, home to the King and Queen. The small airfield is not far from their residence, as the crow (or, in this case, a Unit4 consultant) flies.

As I mentioned, I started flying in 2012. But the dream has been there since my childhood, and it’s so great to be able to share that with others. In a way, I can say that this is my mid-life crisis, but as crises go, I think it is a pretty good one.

The certificate I have is a PPL, Private Pilot License, and I fly small propeller aircraft, taking up to 4 people including me. The flying club I belong to owns 4 planes and our members rent them by the hour. We currently operate two Piper PA-28s, one Piper Cub and one Aquila A210.

I love flying, and take personal trips for different reasons. Sometimes just for fun of course, sometimes for training on the more tricky elements of flying, like cross-wind landings or emergency procedures, and sometimes it just helps me to relax. I have found that flying is a bit like mindfulness. It requires you to be very present, alert and focused, but it works wonders for any work-related stress that you carry with you.

Sometimes I also go for longer trips, the longest so far being to the small city of Ronneby some 2 hours flying from Stockholm. My son is at University in the south of Sweden and was returning after the summer break. Knowing that he doesn’t like flying I said as a joke that I could take him back in the plane. Being a student and constantly short of money, he immediately grabbed the opportunity instead of paying the train fare, so we ended up flying together.