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OK - first I want to thank folks for coming to my defense. Although I won't apologize for anything I've posted, I do want to say that the goal has never been to be nasty. A bit smart alecky, sometimes, but never nasty.
With that out of the way, a thought came to mind. Other than the posts to Gordon Baxter, I haven't seen a whole lot about why we're so passionate about this vocation/avocation of ours. Think about the hurdles we have to overcome to become pilots. First, we have to learn how to manipulate the aircraft, then something about why it flies, then what to do in emergencies, and all of the rules we have to know so we can exercise our privileges without causing undue risk to the public, our passengers, and other aircraft and their occupants. To be coldly analytical, what a pain!
So why? What do we find so rewarding that we endure, nay, relish these challenges? For myself, I'll be honest - I like looking out the window, which started with a non-stop flight from O'Hare to Frankfurt on a 707 way back in 1965 (oh, my, where did all of that time go?). I can't say it nearly as well as Lane Wallace, but the things that I have been fortunate enough to see! Secondly, the satisfaction that I get from knowing that I can do this. And, finally, my favorite is to be able to share all of this with new (and not so new) pilots. Just today (well, yesterday) I flew a short round trip flight (47NM each way) with someone who hadn't flown in a couple of years and wanted to brush up on pilotage skills while getting his biennial done - what a rush when he said "That was fun!"
Reflection on this topic makes me flood with so many thoughts and feelings as to why I fly that I become speechless. It is indeed all of the things you mentioned, and more.
As an engineer, I enjoy the technical aspects. As an artist (I used to be a photographer too), I enjoy the beauty of both the view that far too few are privledged to enjoy. As a human, it makes me reflect on just how small each of us is in the grand scheme of things, yet how magnificent at the same time that despite the challenges, we humans have found ways to soar and explore. There is so much more to why I do it, yet I find that fully encompassing any reasoned explanation is untennable, as I feel, at least in my case, that mere words are inadequate to express it all.
Date: 4/3/2005 1:29:36 AM
So why? What do we find so rewarding that we endure, nay, relish these challenges? - I like looking out the window... I can't say it nearly as well as Lane Wallace, but the things that I have been fortunate enough to see! Secondly, the satisfaction that I get from knowing that I can do this.
My sentiments, exactly!
I have only been flyiing for four years but yet i still am asked by so many "why?"
My simple awncer is that on a trip home from boston I looked out tthe window of a small regonal jet and relized that this is something so few do but so manyh want to do. So with that in my mind i took my first lesson and i am proud to say dispite the fact evryone tells me that i am to young (17 years old) i fly an i intend to go to college for it and also intend to fly far into the future.
I am low time student pilot currently having fun putzing around with my instructor. I am not a US citizen like most people on this forum might be. Hailing from India, the land where buses and trains are still the primary means of getting around (well cars have become cheap and viable in the last 5 years or so)... GA is non existant (to say the least).
Yes, we too have 6 year olds and 10 year olds that love to pretend they are an airplane and dream of flying. I was one of them. I distinctly remember the first time I read about FAR Part 103. I was about 14 years old. It totally blew my mind. I could not believe that aviation (well some parts anyway) in the US did not even require a pilots license! I read all I could on ultralights. I wrote many letters to Ultralight manufacturers to throw me a bone and send me free plans. I so wanted to fly... that is all I could think about. Some where very nice and sent me free info on their planes but no plans! Determined as I was, I found as many cheap throw away airplane books as I could. My biggest score was a Northrop airframe and powerplant (vol 1 & 2) (
Are you posting from India, or are you in the USA now? Where do you hail from in India?
Welcome to the board, by the way
I am in the US.. came here just about 7 years ago. Grew up in Bombay, India.
Thanks for the warm welcome!
PS - Well thanks to Aircuna now I can't post anonymously... well it is probably better that ways
E=mc2 I think i actually made the fourm reject the anonymous posts!!
Sorry my friend and welcome!
Why indeed. Flying is like a religious experience for me. It makes me forget about everything else. I get back on the ground feeling like my priorities have been readjusted and I can do whatever else I have to do for the next few days. And, like taking a drug, visiting a church, temple, etc., the effect is temporary, so you have to get back up there again and again.
And of course it's about the view, about being above everything. Nothing is in the way of you seeing as far as the air will let you see.
I get really frustrated in airliners now, looking out that tiny side window. I really want to be up front to see properly.
In fact, I did get to sit in the jump seat once (before 9/11) for an approach and landing in an A340 from Frankfurt to Calgary. It was one of the coolest things I had ever done to that point. It was that experience, and other ones, that lingered in my mind and drove me toward learning to fly myself. I'd love to repeat my A340 experience now that I'm a pilot; I would have so many more relevant questions to ask (once on the ground). But, alas, such things are no longer allowed...
Then there is the scientific aspect of it. I nearly became an engineer (ended up taking Finance and English instead) and have never lost my deep need to understand why everything works. It's like that Lindbergh saying that the Kings keep quoting in their ads: "Science, freedom, beauty, adventureâ€"aviation offers it all."
First off Iâ€™d like to say hi to everyone as Iâ€™m new here.
Why am I learning to fly?
Back ground: I grew up an Air Force brat. Moving from base to base every 340-350 days I got a really great opportunity to witness some outstanding aircraft doing what I dreamed about all my life, B-52s, F-16s, A-10, E-4s, F-15s, Vulcan Bombers, F-111s and the list goes on. Even after my dad retired we where close to a base. I looked to the sky constantly enamored with the thoughts of being up there with my fellow dreamers. My Uncle was progressing through the Airlines and all ways encouraged me giving me a huge stack of books from Stick and rudder to an out of date flying handbook. I was nosing through them instead of comic books, trying at age 12 to understand what I was reading (Truth is I really didnâ€™t understand all that much back then). Then came along Civil Air Patrol and aerospace education. History, theory, and even getting to fly in an EC-135 on a refueling mission, anything and everything I could do I was trying to do cash availability the only pitfall. Then JROTC in High school and trips to the 135 full motion sim on base where I proved that any one with the proper coaching and back ground can hook up and mid air refuel at least on the 3rd try. The 6 years of Army NG where I learned to fix Turbine engines for all of the helicopters we had in inventory. I was just doing what ever I could to be close to aviation.
So now 7 years of waiting, not wanting to start flight training, being afraid that I didnâ€™t have the money, fearing taking out a loan, telling myself that it can wait and being miserable for it Iâ€™m now a student pilot!!! Yes it took driving past my local FBO to work day in and day out reading that sine â€œLearn to fly hereâ€ and my wife getting fed up with me all ways talking about it but not doing it she finally said go talk to them get started and stop wishing you could make dreams happen and go make them happen.
Why am I learning to fly? Where does this passion stem from? Freedom. The freedom to slip off this earth defying gravity to soar through this awesome field of blue and white. To look out and say bring me that horizon and mean it. To escape the rainy day by zooming up over the clouds to see once again clear blue beauty. To Honor the Aviators of the past by not letting the dream of flight die. To learn to teach flight to the kids I see looking forever skyward, to give them a chance to get hooked on the dream of flight and tell them you can do this!! To see there faces light up when at an air show they ask you all manor of questions and you can say Hey after the show you want to go up for a trip around the block. To become a role model for at least one youngster so instead of drugs or gangs itâ€™s airplanes and flying clubs.
The aviation community sucked me in and all though I had my fair share of bumps and burses I believe it kept me out of a great deal of trouble growing up and I find with out it in my life Iâ€™m just not happy or content. So with this overly long post thank you all for letting me share my passions for flight and please share yours with others! We need more dreamers in aviation!!!
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