There is precious little we can accomplish in life entirely on our own. We need help, or encouragement, or correction from others. And thank goodness. Life would be awfully lonely if we all went around all the time being entirely self-sufficient and self-contained. [Read more…]
In the inimitable words of Ray Kinsella, the main character in, Field of Dreams, “What’s in it for me?” The question is potentially offensive, totally ego driven, and as common as waves on water.
Asking, “What’s in it for me?” is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, especially when you’re considering doing something as weird and wonderful as becoming a pilot, or getting married.
With the full support of my wife, I set off for a big-time flight school six weeks after we were married. I went. She stayed with her folks.
On most mornings throughout the year, commuters driving along Interstate 4 through central Florida are treated to the elegantly bouyant eye candy of a low-speed airshow. Hot air balloons dot the skies for miles, drifting on light winds, and bringing joy to passengers and observers alike.
It’s perfectly natural to be attracted to the sight of a ballon in flight. The original manned flying machine is slow, sluggish, not particularly maneuverable, and brilliant. Kudos to those who fly them and entertain the rest of us in the process.
I’m an airplane guy. Fixed wings are my thing. Over the course of my career I’ve had the chance to fly high wings and low wings, biplanes and monoplanes, pushers and tractors, seaplanes and land planes, single engine and multi-engine machines. I’ve been lucky. [Read more…]
While wandering the streets of Manhattan recently it occurred to me that historic events have occurred on almost every street in that megalopolis.
In the 1980s, I lived just off Washington Square Park on Bleecker Street. There in the shadow of New York University (NYU) is a broad open space that hosts chess players, musicians, acrobats, curious tourists, and several thousand dead bodies. [Read more…]
For general aviation pilots there is no more compelling challenge than that presented by currency.
We’re talking about currency in both its common forms — cash and recent flight time. [Read more…]
Typically, I write this column from an office in my home.
My writing space used to be a single-car garage. But since single-car garages are generally too narrow and shallow to actually park a car in them, I converted mine into two rooms. The larger of the two is my office. The other is a laundry room.
You see, anything can be converted, rearranged, redesigned, or repaired. Anything.
Even a single-car garage can be reborn as something new, more practical, and genuinely useful.
So can you. So can anyone, frankly. You just have to make a break from the regular routine. [Read more…]
I am a Certificated Flight Instructor. I’m proud of that fact. [Read more…]
Education is a hot button issue in any election year. Yet it never gets any better, no matter what we’re promised.
It’s my impression the electorate merely wants to hear someone make a promise, even if it’s an empty one. They’re looking for a cheerleader. Somebody to toss out platitudes and catch-phrases that give the impression something positive will come from their candidacy.
Truthfully, it’s unreasonable and unrealistic to think somebody located hundreds or thousands of miles from your home can have a profound impact on the ability of any given teacher to educate any given classroom full of students.
What our national system of education lacks is both simple, and relatively inexpensive. Yes, it is. [Read more…]
One of the most enjoyable aspects of my work revolves around the ability to take others aloft in a bright yellow and black Reimagined Cessna 152.
The airplane is pretty much a stock C-152, not much different than those you’ve probably logged time in. What separates the airplane I fly from the one you flew is the complete refurbishment of the Reimagined C-152 at the Aviat facility in Afton, Wyoming.
Yes, it’s true. Everything actually works in the Reimagined I fly. The paint is fresh, the panel has no open holes where an instrument used to be, there are no “inop” labels taped to their faces. It’s as close to a new airplane as you can get. [Read more…]
The act of aviating is often a solitary endeavor. Or at least it appears to be.
In truth, there are many hands that go into making a safe flight happen. Certainly the pilot plays a pivotal role, but there are mechanics, and line-service personnel, parts manufacturers, administrators, and so many others who play a role.
A recent flight to meet an old friend for lunch really brought this into focus for me — in the best possible way. [Read more…]