I love aviation. For someone not IN aviation it can be difficult to understand how all encompassing this love is. It is not just one aspect of aviation like flying, for me it is nearly everything about aviation as a whole.
As a kid in the 70s I always wanted to learn to fly. One summer my aunt took me on one of those Bay Tour helicopter flights out of the wharf in San Francisco. Ever since then, the desire to fly has been rolling around the back of my mind.
Once I started flight school it woke up all of those fascinations of childhood. They are here to stay. There are so many things I want to do, so many things I want to share with friends, family, and anyone else who is interested in aviation and flying.
Some people ask what I want out of aviation and what I want to do in aviation and the two questions are so tightly woven together that it seemed easier to make a list with a little detail.
12 things I want to do for the next 40 years:
Fly: Kind of obvious don’t you think. I love to fly. There is nothing like flying along the coastline at 500 feet a little off shore, or flying through mountain passes and landing on remote grass airstrips out in the middle of nowhere. A feeling of freedom and exhilaration I have yet to find anywhere else.
Add Ratings: There are so many different kinds of aircraft to fly; so many related things to do that need some kind of rating or endorsement. To pursue aviation is to be a perpetual student.
Exposure Flights: Part of the joy of flying is sharing that joy with others. There are so many people of all ages that would love to go for a flight who have never done it before. Giving people an opportunity to fly is a gift I am thrilled to give.
Adventure Flights: I am an adventurer at heart and there are a lot of adventurous flights I would love to plan and fly, not to mention sharing the experience with everyone else.
Write About Aviation: When I am flying regularly there are so many things to share with different groups in the aviation community.
Photo Missions: Along with writing, taking pictures is another way to share the joys of being airborne and of seeing those other magnificent flying machines that show up at fly-ins, and the tips and tricks that can be shared with images.
Produce Media: Audio and video can enhance articles and other stories that I would like to share. From education to entertainment the written word, still photography, audio, and video can come together to become amazing and expressive multimedia that is a great way to share aviation with the world.
Movie Pilot: Flying for motion pictures and other media, ether on screen or as a platform is one of those dream gig kinds of things.
Build and Restore Aircraft: I am a hands on kind of person, I like to build, maintain, and restore stuff in general. Building, maintaining, and restoring aircraft is another extension of who I am. The satisfaction of completing projects and enjoying the fruits of the labor.
Participate in Air Shows and Fly-ins: Participation in the aviation community at large is one of the integrating elements of the rest of this list; it is the getting out there and sharing with the flying community. An opportunity to take aircraft out and show them off and promote everything else I am doing in the community. It is also one of the best ways to fellowship with the community, meet and greet, hanger talk, and see some of the exciting people and machines out in the wild.
Aircraft and Powerplant Research & Development: There are a lot of new things going on in the aviation industry, changes on the horizon, and I have ideas. From new designs to unique applications of off-the-shelf materials there are test to be done.
Teach: While last on my list, it is by no means least. I learn when I teach, and I love to learn. With every new rating, endorsement, and project there are opportunities to practice and teach new skills.