Perhaps my greatest passion and the one I unfortunately do the least often, I love to fly. Since I was a little kid, I have always loved planes and helicopters, and always said that when I was old enough that I was going to be a pilot.

A man of my word, I got my private pilot's license when I was 17 years old, and my instrument rating when I was 21 years old. I don't have much desire to pursue ratings higher than that, as I never intended for flying to be a source of income, I just wanted it to be a source of fun. My instructor once told me "do it because you love it, don't do it for the money." If you are a budding aviator then those are words I would take to heart, and I will add not to do it for the girls either, because that doesn't work as well as you think it would (unfortunately).

It makes me sad that the term "flying" to so many people means long lines at airport security, sitting next to someone with bad B.O. in a seat with too little legroom, long waits in airport terminals, fear of a terrorist hijacking, etc. It is an unfortunate reality that commercial aviation has become so mundane that the thrill and wonder of the art has been forgotten. Will it ever get better? Probably not, as current trends would indicate that security checks will only get more restrictive, flights will be perpetually overbooked, and people will probably not get more hygienic or cognizant.

To me, that isn't flying, it's sitting on a bus in the sky. Flying to me is being up in the clouds in a small plane that I can see out of all the windows, where I get to choose where we go, and where I get to choose when we take off and land (to some degree). It's a feeling of pure freedom, think of the first time you drove a car, only much better.

If you've ever wanted to become a pilot, then I encourage you to do so. You will learn a great many things and will be pushed beyond what you thought you were capable of doing. It's not hard, it just takes time, money, and motivation. You may not think you have the time or the money, but if you have the motivation, you can find a way.

One thought on “Flying

  1. Zachary- nice words about flying. John Rob tells it the same way - always encouraging a wanna be pilot to jump in. It's exhilarating!
    Our grandson Wade (8) is taking "lesson" now. So fun to have another pilot in the family

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