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Guest tallpilot

The Love for Aviation

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Hi,I wanted to talk a little bit about my love for aviation and maybe give others a chance to do the same in replies if they wished to do so.How'd I get into aviation? Well it was 3 things that gave me the bug, actually. The first thing that got the ball rolling was back when I was about 8 or 9, my parents went on business trips occaisionally, and once in a blue moon they would take me along. Thats how I came across my first flight, which was aboard a Delta Airlines 7x7, probably a 737 but it could have been a 767. The sensation of roaring down the runway, seeing the tarmac with all the colorful lines and markings on the ground rip by, rotating, and lifting off into the sky was purely unforgettable. That was perhaps the #1 thing that gave me the bug. Second, the movie "Always" gave the bug a big push and embedded it's roots in me even more. Additionally, because of that movie, the A-26 Invader is among my top favorite aircraft. Too bad its not too common and you just don't see it often except in firebombing duties. I also have always been interested in firefighting, so a movie that mixed firefighting and aviation was a sure winner in my heart. Thirdly... airshows. My dad used to take me to airshows, and we still go to one or two each year together. To me, there's something emotional about seeing a bird sitting at the end of the runway, its engine softly crackling, and you can softly hear the engine runup and start its roll. The big part is when it goes by... the soft rumble suddenly turns into a ear-splitting roar as the tips of the prop blades break the speed of sound, and it soars off into the sky, leaving me desperate to be aboard that aircraft, flying into the deep blue sky. I have only been on a General Aviation aircraft once, and I'll never forget it. It was a blue and white Cessna 182S, probably manufactured in the late 70's or so. The flight was from Fresno's Sierra Sky Park, 60 or so miles northeast to Bishop airport, which is nestled in a large valley. (If anyone wants to stimulate the flight in FS, it's Q60 - KBIH, and you will need about 14,000 feet to clear the mountains on the way) The scenery was beautiful, but for me, I think the best part was the takeoff.Takeoffs have always been the most emotional part for me, I think. Landings also are really fun but for some reason the takeoffs are the #1 favorite part. Theres just something about going out onto the runway, lining up, taking a breath, pushing the throttle to the firewall... the engine roars and growls, and yet it sings... aviation engines are always musical to me... always. Accelerating down the runway, the wheels rumbling, pulling back on the yoke, and everything seems to transform. It's gone from a screaming aircraft hauling itself down the runway, rumbling and bumping, but as soon as those wheels leave the pavement, not only does the airplane rise, but so does your soul, your spirit. I think that everyone that has a true love of flying will know what I'm talking about. Flying does amazing wonders to a pilot's soul and spirit. Youre not only flying, even though its in a machine, but your soul and spirit flies too. Landings are fun, most definitely (at least most of the times... sometimes they can be stressful), but takeoffs are more than that. Much more. Flying means so much to me... I dont understand why, and I dont care to know why. All I know and care to know is that I love flying. I may have never had control of an aircraft in my 21 years, but I already know that the first time I take the controls and fly a plane, that it will be, without a doubt, the best day of my life. I already know in my heart that there will be nothing like it, and nothing ever will be like it. Flying is a way for me to be free. Yeah I know that theres so many rules and regulations with flying, but if you really think about it... theres so much freedom out there when it comes to flying. Flying allows my soul and spirit to fly, and fly free. Thats the only time that ever happens to me. Being in love has a similar feeling, and yet, its different. Same thing with having kids. I dont have any, but I know that when I do, it will be something special. But no matter what, nothing will compare to flying. Maybe the day I have my first child with my wife will turn out to be my best day of my life. I dont doubt it probably will be. But flying will always hold a special place in my heart... and in that special place in my heart, it will always be number one, the best thing ever. I am hard of hearing... with hearing aids. Without, I'm deaf. That makes the possibility of me flying difficult when it comes to radios, etc. Difficult, but not impossible. I went to the Watsonville airshow last weekend with my dad. I drove up there and met with him there. He had a video camera, and asked me to film the show (BTW, if anyone wants a copy of the tape, email me at clouddancer79@hotmail.com and I'll send you a copy... no charge). A couple of times I filmed a GA plane that was departing for who knows where, and he was puzzled. "Why are you filming the Cessnas and the Beech's?" I told him that I was doing that because even a lowly 152 inspires me in ways that nothing and nobody else in my life could possibly do right now. I had such a field day too, there were planes taking off almost constantly. The scream of the prop blades as they passed by, climbing into the sky, send shivers down my spine every time. Then, there was an AT-6 Texan that lined up for takeoff. I focused completely on it. The rumble was soft and subtle as it powered up and started its takeoff roll. As it went by with my eyes glued to it, the incredibly powerful engine and prop hauling that pilot into the air, the prop slitting the air at incredible volumes, the gear retracting into the wells, and it peeled off to the right, flying away to the east, I just about had a tear in my eye as I turned to my dad, and I said to him "Someday, I will do that. I WILL do that, no matter what it takes. I promise you that." I love aviation. I have for more than 10 years, and I always will. Hopefully I'll die an old 90 year old man with 60 or 70 years of flying under my belt, a shiny AT-6 in my hangar to be left to my son or daughter, known as a great, wonderful, amazing pilot that everybody loved. I'll smile, say my sweet goodbyes to my family, and I'll push that throttle to the wall, roar down the runway, turning heads, lifting off, tucking my wheels into the wells, and Ill peel off into the sunset to fly in the heavens forever. Who knows... Maybe I'll fly in formation with Richard Harvey. :)Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this. Have a great day, have great flights, and most of all, have great lives. :)"Don't stall on me, I have to soar!"Richard Harvey

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I couldn't help but to be moved by your post. I too will share the roots of my love for flying.As a young child, I would watch the space shuttles lift off whenever it was show on television. I would daydream about myself being strapped onto one of those bottle rockets and playing amongst the stars. My mother just so happend to know a gentleman who worked for NASA in Houston. He would send me old copies of literature that the actual astronauts would be briefed on before their mission. As I grew though, I became more interested in smaller, sky-bound aircraft.On one occasion in 5th grade, we had a 'career day', where a representative from many different occupations would take a group of children on a tour of where they worked. It just so happened that the airport was on the list. An older gentleman took myself and 3 other kids to the local field, showed us around, and piled us in his Cessna 172 for a quick high-speed taxi down the runway. Seeing all of those gauges come to life as we sped up made my heart pound. I couldn't wait to get home to tell my parents all about it. Just last year, despite the gentleman's age and deterorating health, he invited me to fly left seat in that same 172...N737JF (now I know what those weird letters on the tail mean also). It was an honor to fly not only with a retired Eastern Airlines captain, but with the man to which I acredit sparking my love for aviation. We flew to some local airports, allowing me to take all but one landing. That one landing he took was more perfect than any I have accomplished to date. I had to help him out of the aircraft at the end of the day.I received a 1 hour flight in a 1964 Mooney Master for my 12th birthday. I got my first lesson in aerodynamics that day, when I was told that the wings made the plane fly, not the engine. I didn't quite understand it then, and it still amazes me now...7 years and 180 flight hours later.I was blessed to live in a small community in which everyone knew their neighbor, and that neighbor's neighbor, and so on. It's a bad situation as far as rumors are concerned, but it helps get you a free ride in someone's airplane every now and then. Following the fly-in at our local airport one October (at which I worked 'ground control', with 3 pilots from our town), I got some stick time in a beautifully restored Luscombe 8A.Back to those 3 pilots...they are wonderful guys, as is 99% of the aviation community. They invited me on several occasions to tag along with them to the airshows at NAS Oceana and Norfolk. It was great to be able to discuss the aircraft on display with someone who know what I was talking about, rather than my family who really has no clue.And just a few weeks ago, while at home on a break, I was invited to fly to a small island in the Chesapeake Bay with 2 of the 3 aforementiond pilots, in none other than the 1964 Mooney Master, N1909Y. They allowed me the honors of both legs, both landings, from the right seat of course (I didn't have my complex sign off at the time).Most recently, I have been fortunate enough to attend Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, FL. The education I have received here is top-notch, placing an emphasis on saftey and professionalism. Many of the students gripe and complain about all of the rules and regulations imposed on flight operations by the school. They don't understand why they are fined $100 for their first 'no-show' offense, $200 for the 2nd, and $300 and dismissal from the flight program for their third. An alarm clock is a simple tool to use, but they just don't understand. They also don't realize that there are no fines or second chances in the real world. Its your company badge, on the boss' desk...NOW.Hopefully, the industry will rebound and have many prosperous years to come. I am a rising junior at the moment, and hopefully things will get better before I graduate. I am always open to corporate flying, so drop me a line in a few years if you need me.Did I mention that chicks love pilots. My girlfriend loves to brag about it...

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~~~Did I mention that chicks love pilots. My girlfriend loves to brag about it...~~~LOL... I can see it now... "Hi... I'm Todd.""Hi, I'm Andrea... so what do you do?""Oh umm, I fly planes"*Raises her eyebrows in interest* "Oh REALLY? I'd LOVE to go up in one of your planes..."To Be Continued:-lolP.S. I really love your signature quote. A mile of runway takes me anywhere and it takes my soul to the heavens :)

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Todd, thanks for bringing this post up, its a fantastic idea :D>Takeoffs have always been the most emotional part for meAmen to that! Emotional, what a perfect word to describe what we feel :DEver since I can remember, I loved everything about planes, I have old photos of me with my little stuffed planes probably around the age of two or three. At around the age of six or seven when we start to understand some things, I was flying an Air Aruba DC-9 to...well...Aruba! :-lol During the flight the crew let me stay in the cockpit with them and we had a great time- I'm trying to remember if they had a spare headset, that I think they tried to fit on my small head, lol, I believe I had to just hold it there the whole time. When we landed we came right over the ocean and it was just so exhilarating! I always ask my parents to get a seat a row or two behind the wing because its just so fascinating to me watching the flaps and all the control surfaces work. Then we touchdown and the roar of the engines slows us down and we pulled off the runway. They had those airstairs that you pull up the to the aircraft there. The captain asked If I wanted to see the plane up close- and of course I said yes (with moms approval) so he showed me around the plane and I must have been drooling- just in complete awe.At my old airport before they decided to build 400 houses over it (Marlboro , 2N8) they had a nice resturant. In the back there was a fence right next to the taxiiway. When the GA planes passed by you were only a few feet from them- it was amazing. People would invite you to their planes to have a look around- or even fly the pattern once :-cool Unfortunatley this all ended and now theres senior citizens houses over it :(Now at my new home base, KBLM, there are private jets and all. I remember there was a Hawker800xp from netjets there and they invited me up to their plane and into the cockpit and all, let me move the yokes around and tinker with some other instruments :D I'm young- I'm only fourteen, fifteen in four days (June First) - I dream to be an airline captain one day- maybe even the legendary 747 captain salary would come to hand. I'm starting my flying lessons at age sixteen, then from there progress to my Instrument rating, then maybe be excepted into Embry Riddle or other nice college :) There are many paths to take in my life, and I hope they lead to something good, something I have dreamt of everyday. I have the urge the fly in my blood- and there will be nothing to hold me back to settling that urge. My dad once told me "If you can dream it, and you can live it- its the greatest thing in the world" My passion for flight is a never ending story- but this is where I have to stop - homework calls me up for duty!Hope you enjoyed youre flight ;)Jason :-wave

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~~~I always ask my parents to get a seat a row or two behind the wing because its just so fascinating to me watching the flaps and all the control surfaces work.~~~I used to do that too. My mom would try to seat us all the way up from or all the way in the back, whichever was farthest from the engines, but I would always beg them to find me a window seat right behind or right on the wing. My eyes would be glued to the wing the whole time, watching it flex, the control surfaces move, the reversers, the spoilers, etc. I do that sometimes in FS too. Pretty neat to see all that stuff work!

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Yeah :-lol Sometimes when I fly It seems like I must have told myself "Who cares about the view below us- look at all those gizmos work!" But then the view plays an important role to me on takeoff and landing, adds the to heart pounding adrenline action :-jumpyJason :-wave

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KFCI, been there done that :-walksmile (and need to get back to take the 97 year old great grandmother up for a flight).

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Hi Jason,I don't know if you are aware of it, but you can solo gliders at 14.My son soled gliders on his 14th birthday and is now a pilot for a major airline.There is an excellent book "Joy of Soaring" that tells all about learning to fly gliders. Glider flying teaches a pilot some important basics that also apply to powered flight and lessons usually are less expensive than lessons in a powered plane.If there is a glider club/school at an airport near you I would suggest you go there and talk to them about a free demonstration flight.Blue skies and tail winds,Ed Weber a.k.a tallpilotRetired Airline Pilot (and still flying) :-)

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Hey Ed,I read about that in one my my magazines some time ago- I'm not really interested in Gliders at the moment- but who knows what the future beholds :)Jason :-wave

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I need a glider right about now. I'm having a real problem with high and low key points on simulated engine failures. I searched google for helpful information, and all I could find was reference to gliders as opposed to single engine aircraft.

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In Canada at least, you can solo powered planes at 14, as I did.

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Greg, While flying from KEWR - KPHX (real world) I read a five or so page article on Canada's Aviation and how its all set up. It is really quite interesting :D Jason :-wave

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Jason,Well some of it is weird, especially with Transport Canada up here, but yeah some stuff is better.

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