Fueling the Passion

** Benjamin during one of his first GA flights.**

Unlike many aviation enthusiasts, flying is not in my blood. It was a passion sparked while visiting a military field with a classmate when I was about eight years old. But, through the years, my love for flying has kept growing. I can rightfully be classified as an aviation nut. And now that I have a son, Benjamin, I would love to share my passion with him.

So far, it seems to be working. Benjamin is only 22 months, but his aviation passion is already apparent. One of his early, but clearly distinguishable expressions is “cra cra.” And while the sound he makes is nowhere near the actual word for airplane in either English or Swedish, it is his own way of saying airplane since he says it, with great passion, every time he sees one, whether it is a picture of an airplane or the real thing. It is similar to him saying “brm brm” every time he sees a car, so I suppose “cra cra” is what he hears when an airplane flies by. But I’m happy to report that the excitement in Benjamin’s voice and the fire in his eyes are much greater when he says “cra cra” than when he says “brm brm.”

Benjamin first flew when he was only a month and a half, and during the short time that he has been on this planet, Benjamin and I have spent hundreds of hours inside airplanes, flying back and forth to Sweden several times, and doing multiple trips within the United States. I’ve taken full advantage of being able to take him along in my lap for free on the airlines. But unfortunately those days are coming to an end now that he’s turning two years old.

He's also had a chance to fly in general aviation airplanes since he was about seven months old. And that is where I intend to keep feeding his passion for flying. We frequently go to local airports and watch airplanes take off and land. And next week I'm planning on taking him to his first airshow. The show I'm taking him to will take place in Porterville, California – a little over one hour flight from Santa Monica airport. I've never been to this airshow before, but it appears to be a small, fun, local event, which should be a perfect introduction for Benjamin. This will also be his first time camping - I'm planning on pitching a tent at the airport.

I realize I’m probably a little overexcited about the prospect of Benjamin being a passionate aviator. After all, it’s another 14 years before he can legally fly solo. And the passion for airplanes that he’s displaying right now may fade through the years. I have plenty of pilot friends whose children have no interest in flying. But flying is and forever will be a large part of my life, and I hope to continue to share that passion with my son.

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