There was a time in my life that I lived an breathed airplanes. While I grew up around boats and the water, and I come by my love for the sea honestly, from the first time I was in an airplane … at 12 … I wanted to fly.
And I did.
I learned to fly when I was a teenager. I bartered my flying lessons. I worked for something that I really wanted and couldn’t afford any other way. And there was no prouder newly-minted private pilot when I got my license. I flew home from Bloomington to Bedford, a scant 20 or so miles, with a fresh license in my pocket, and joined a pretty exclusive club, though one that anyone who’s ever had the privilege of flying an airplane wants to share.
For a while, I continued to fly. My friend Douglas often needed a licensed pilot to ride right seat with him while he kept up his instrument proficiency. I never got the instrument ticket, but while Doug was in med school in Fort Wayne, I’d often grab one of his dad’s airplanes, zip up north, we’d go fly, and I’d fly home. A couple of times a year, we’d snag an airplane and fly down to Florida from Indiana. Flying meant freedom, and when it was somebody else’s airplane, so much the better.
But, as so often is the case, life happened. I got married, moved to California, and didn’t have the money or the time to continue my passion. Sometimes I think I should have found a way to continue to fly. Lots of people do. And maybe, now is the time to do that.
In writing for Aero News Network these past two weeks, I’m finding out how much I’ve forgotten. I used to speak pretty fluent airplane. I at least managed to be conversational. Not only have I forgotten a lot of the syntax, but I’m also finding out that the language has changed. A lot.
Now boat people, never fear. I’m not going to give up my boat. Not ever. But I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to be around airplanes and airplane people again.
And maybe being able to feel an airplane under my hands again. That’d be a gas.