What is Sky Review?
Yes? Great! At Sky Review, what we hope you’ll find is, inspiration, motivation, and at times information — pretty much in that order. Oh, and adventure too! We’ll seek to adorn the pages with extravagant and original photographs of airplanes, particularly war birds with propellers — or perhaps jets if they have sexy tail art. Sky Review is an exploration of how aviation relates to life.
Who Are You?
How Aviation Relates to Life. Sky Review is for the Aircraft Pilot, or those who aspire to fly. Read, Listen, Be Inspired, Fly!
My aviation adventure began with an unlikely encounter several years ago. You can read about it in, “Flying Lesson no. 1 in a P-51 Mustang.” While I’ve had an inherent interest in aircraft and WWII history for most of my life, I wasn’t really doing anything related to those interests, then that abruptly changed.
My professional background is in radio broadcasting and advertising. It was a chance encounter with The Collings Foundation which put me on the path of learning to fly. As for most, learning to fly was about surviving the experience, mastering the airplane, and attempting to learn the massive amount of new information. However, after some hours, an instrument rating, several long cross-country flights, aviation became more about people. We tend to see things according to our particular personalities, backgrounds, and individual experiences. While I love aircraft, the challenge of tail wheel flying (read landings), flying a superb ILS, or keeping it low and slow with some ole fashioned pilotage, I am overwhelmed by the different personalities I’ve met and the absurd experiences I’ve had because of them. Why does any of that matter?
Aviation and the Human Condition
Aviation is loaded with truths analogous to life. Let’s face it, we are earth-dwelling creatures. Despite the regular-ness of air travel for the average airline passenger, and their disdain for certain encumbrances therein, shooting through the air at a hundred or many hundreds of miles per hour is still rather incredible. Nothing fleshes this out like learning to fly yourself.
With some academic learning under your belt, you place your entire personage into the act of flying. This entails submitting yourself to whatever mother nature has conjured for those specific flying moments. You can’t disconnect, discount, or ignore what the wind is doing. Once you’ve embarked on a flight, you’ve made an absolute commitment to land — arguably the most difficult part of flying. This fantastic inextricable agreement requires, forethought, planning, decisiveness, and courage. Many of our safe, tidy, and sanitary vocations are devoid of those kinds of challenges. Some statistics indicate well over seventy percent of people dislike their work. Perhaps the absence of adventure, and daring are part of the problem. Yes, we live longer than we used to, however, Henry David Thoreau might be appropriate here it up:
“the mass of men lead lives of desperation”Thoreau, Henry D. Walden, Or, Life in the Woods. London: J.M. Dent, 1908. Print.
In my experience, engaging in the art of flying mines the better elements of what it means to be a fully alive human. Therefore, let us not be quiet, or desperate, but dynamic, communicative, and intentional.
A Bit About ‘Sky Review’
I understand there is opportunity for confusion over the word “review.” Allow me to explain.
In this context, we are using “review,” to mean — something on the order of it’s seventh possible meaning. Yeah, I know that’s nuts. Four-thirds of people will think we do product reviews. That’s the most common definition of the word “review.” Perhaps one day there will be a section for product reviews. Additionally, we couldn’t very well go with “revue.” I believe that entails singing and dancing and whatnot. Therefore, “review,” in terms of SkyReview.US means, “a retrospective view or survey (as of one’s life),” according to our friends at Merriam-Webster. Nevertheless, the Sky Review logo is trademarked and on file at the Library of Congress. So, that plane has departed. Now that’s settled! Hey, isn’t this about about flying, or aviation, or propellers or something?
It’s About People
In the course of obtaining my pilot license, I learned a lot about myself and noticed a great deal about life I hadn’t noticed before. As it turns out, hidden within the art of flying is a great deal about, beauty, adventure, struggle — all of that. Aviation is much more than flying machines and the utility of airplanes as transportation. Although there may be times when we write about something of an aviation newsworthy or technical flavor, it will be somewhat rare. If you want to read scads of confusing and technically weighty verbiage, crack open those Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR-AIM). I do it regularly. Mind bending, that.
Now, where was I? Oh — humanity.
To become a pilot requires a leap of faith. To become an aviator begs discipline, commitment, responsibility, and a great many other things. Such is the art of flying. In becoming pilots, many of us undergo intrapersonal changes. I certainly did.
You are invited to read the articles and listen to the AirTime podcast. You are encouraged to comment and join the exploration of how aviation relates to life. Be humane, thoughtful, and let’s start a conversation about flying — about life.
Tailwinds — Don M. Jones
©SkyReview.US All Rights Reserved