The early days of your flying journey are times to cherish. Not many people on the ground get to enjoy the feeling of newness, the sense of freedom and the joy that comes with dancing with the clouds.
Here’s what I love about flying.
Flying into an Airshow
There’s nothing finer than rocking your wings as you head into a big airshow. There are all those people on the ground watching you land. Better do it right!
These airshows get thousands of planes. There’s one in a small town called Oshkosh in the U.S. state of Wisconsin that attracts over 10,000 planes in a single week. That makes it the most active airport in the world for that one week!
An airshow is a great place to hang out. You get to see flying buddies from far away, make new friends, and learn something. The best part is checking out the planes. Pilots come up with really clever ideas for their small planes. An airshow is their opportunity to get prized aircraft out of the hangar and show it off. That’s the goal of every new pilot—get his own plane and fix it up.
Aerobatics: Let’s Roll!
How do you know if you’re safe if you don’t know where the edge is? Of course, parents and girlfriends disagree with this proposition, but pilots understand it completely.
Interesting fact: Charles Lindbergh made a living as a stunt pilot for two years, barnstorming across the U.S.
That’s another terrific reason pilots don’t want to miss air shows. There are so many great demonstrations put on by fellow pilots.
The pure joy of it: doing a roll, a barrel roll, the perfect loop. To say nothing of the hammerhead and the reverse half-Cuban!
There’s a reason it’s called sky dancing. We’re tangoing with the clouds.
Even at 23, a new pilot has a lot to share with kids who dream of flying a plane. That’s why many student pilots help out at career fairs and talk to kids in their classrooms about the joy of flying. There are not as many crazy uncles out there as there use to be bringing kids to the airport.
Youngsters can read about flying online. Places like Science Kids and the Smithsonian Museum have stories and answers and pictures. But it’s just not the same thing as hearing it from someone who has actually flown.
And you can never start too young. Lindbergh went to his first air meet when he was 10 years old. He was 20 when he took lessons.
If aerobatics are pure joy, then flying solo qualifies as pure bliss. Just you and the clouds—you become part of the sky.
For those that intend to make it a career, this early period of solo flights is time to be savored. Once you get your Commercial Pilot Career, you are teamed up with a co-pilot, maybe a navigator. That’s good for safety, but there’s something so special about solo time. You rarely fly solo after your initial certification, treasure it.
There is nothing like the quiet freedom of being the pilot in command.
The $100 Hamburger
Flying off to your favorite spot for a burger, done just right, or pancakes with real maple syrup. So what that you need to fly 100 miles to get there? That’s what flying is all about.
And yeah, the fuel and the wear and tear adds up and the hamburger ends up costing about $100. But when you fly yourself there, it’s worth every penny.
That’s another thing about getting a Private Pilot Certificate. It’s just not too likely that the dispatchers are going to plan routes so you can touch down at a favorite diner on the way.
Enjoy your early flying time. It’s all about freedom, joy and endless possibilities.