Earlier this year I had the good fortune to visit some friends in California and take my first ride in a light airplane. In spite of the 29,000+ miles I have flown this year the smallest plane I had been on prior was a twin-turboprop Delta Connection flight out of IAD to ROC so this was a really unique experience for me.
We flew from AUN out over the San Francisco Bay, out to the Golden Gate Bridge and then down the Pacific coast to HAF where we went and had dinner. After dinner we flew over San Francisco back up to AUN after dark which was a truly beautiful view and if I am honest was almost magical.
I think it jarred something loose in my head. For as long as I can remember I have always been fascinated with aviation and have always wanted to learn to fly. For years though that dream sat idle in the pile of things that would be nice to do someday when I made 'real money' and could afford such extravagances (like air conditioning or food). I'm not really sure how much I was smiling after that first flight but I imagine you probably could have seen it from at least 10,000ft. I think I was hooked at that very moment. It really doesn't help that my friend is a very persuasive individual when he is passionate about something, and flying is something he is exceptionally passionate about. It took me a few months, and a few more trips to convince me that it was truly something within my grasp but last week I finally got down to the local airport SDC, and took an intro flight with the resident CFII.
We flew out of SDC and then down towards my house in Fairport, circled around and came back. It was only a half-hour of flying time but it was easily the most memorable half hour of my life in the last few years. And to be clear in the last few years I have been to Edinburgh and London, Australia... twice as well as California three times. So that is a statement that I do not take lightly.
There are some logistics still up in the air but never before have I been quite as excited about anything as I am about the prospect of being able to take to the sky and explore the world of General Aviation.
While my wallet will never be quite the same again I can't thank everyone who finally kicked me off this cliff enough. I can't promise I will take malicious notes here chronicling my experience as I seem to have an aversion to updating this damnable thing but I am sure I will update more often than I have recently.