I sat across the table from the person sitting across the table from me. There were about 8 of us in this small, quirky establishment. I didn’t know the couple facing me, we’d just been introduced. After a few moments, word got out that I am a pilot. Hey, I’m cool with that! I love talking about flying.
Uh oh, but we have a safety conscious person here. Squinting into the dimly lighted space between us, the lady asked, “why do you do that, isn’t that dangerous — that sounds dangerous?” I love “why” questions! I love them because it’s hard to explain to the un-aviated, what the hell a Cessna 172 is, relative a Citation Ten. They’re both Cessna’s, right? But, why do you fly, I can connect that to many areas of nonflying life. This thing about safety though, there seems to be a lot of that going around lately.
Well, day 1 of my first ever experience of Air Venture in Oshkosh Wisconsin is behind me. However, very present in my mind is the sunburn on my lower legs and tops of my arms. Before the trip I researched and purchased a Canadian hat to shield me from the sun, wild beasts, and attack ninjas. I now realize I may have subconsciously assumed the hat contained magical powers which it most certainly does not. Also swirling ever-present in my head is the myriad of airplanes that were on display. Yeah, I’d read the statistics, but those numbers aren’t the same as walking past rows and endless rows of meticulously maintained warbirds.
For most, this Memorial Day weekend is a respite — a time for family, friends, and beginning the summer grilling season. It is most assuredly important to enjoy and embrace our hard won freedom. However, let us not forget those who stood boldly in the hot fire of their oath, paying all of themselves to fulfill what duty required.
We put together a short video as a reminder.
For most of us, the heavy hand of these dangerous deeds is so very far away, however, the sacrifices by those, “in the arena,”ever echo in the free air of our peaceful surrounds.
Everyone sees things in their own way… regardless, I am certain most pilots would nod in the affirmative regarding the sense of freedom found in flying. VFR flight, in particular, has in its essence a strong freeing quality.
While flying visually, you don’t need most of the instruments; through sight picture and pilotage you can successfully get where you aim. This freedom can be the sort that relieves stress, helps realign your overall perspective, and points you toward a sense of adventure— lifting you out of the mundane. Furthermore, if you love the mountains, combining aviation and the wonder of our national granite scapes — well that’s about as good as it gets.