Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Keeping Me Sane

I think everyone who likes airplanes is suffering with the dismal weather lately . . . toss in some stress, lack of sleep, and the ubiquitous college money concerns, and it gets worse!

Thankfully, there's this one thing I know I can always count on (and I have an awesome network of friends who care about me) that can cheer me up.

This little airplane.

In her I am home. I am complete. I cannot delineate where she ends and I begin. We flow together, two imperfect souls having found perfect partners in each other. She does not do my bidding; we work together seamlessly. I cannot recall giving commands, only desiring something to happen, and enjoying when it does. We meld naturally together, having become best friends after starting out timidly exploring each other. We have learned each other's quirks, growing closer in an inexplicable way only understood by those who have found their soulmates in the sky. There is a bond with her I cannot begin to explain--most, I'm sure, will dismiss such a notion as purely the construction of an overactive imagination. I'm ok with that . . . I know how this wonderful creature makes me feel, and I owe her the utmost respect because of it. If that relegates me to the outer fringes of the aviation family, so be it . . . the characters out here are more interesting anyhow!

These little yellow airplane "ruined" me. They ignited in me a passion so deep and pure not even I fully understood it, nor do I understand it today. They swept away the socially accepted appeal of a traditional airline job, baring me of any excuses to fly.

So why do I do it?

Because I love it.

Not because I desire a job sitting in the video-game cockpit of a massive technological marvel. I am a puddlejumper. I am "that little guy." I've got as many hours as commercial pilot checkride applicants, almost all of it hopping around in a Cub--and I wouldn't trade any of that for the world.

Too often we applaud people for saying what they want to do. I suppose I find this a little troublesome as those plans change at the bat of an eyelash. Where is the recognition for the ones who say "That's not for me" and seek to carve out their own niche? When did we start rewarding the safe bet and shy away from encouraging the daring, the impassioned, the dreamers?

I can tell you I will never be an airline pilot. I have several airline pilot friends who love their jobs, and I respect both them and their occupations greatly. But it's not for me, and everywhere I turn I'm the odd man out for knowing that about myself. I will not be that aviation school graduate who ends up hating their life flying for a low-paying regional carrier. I will do all I can, knowing this about myself, to keep the enthusiasm burning so I can introduce others to this wonderful world I'm so privileged to experience and participate in. To me, that's the highest calling--it has the most risk with the lowest tangible rewards, coupled with the greatest risk for financial ruin. Yet, it is the least recognized and least rewarded pursuit of them all.

Something's wrong with that.

We're only hurting ourselves by failing to support those striving to make a difference in the lives of others. We should certainly support those with a burning desire to become professional pilots, but not at the expense of losing great advocates.

Moral of this rambling: Cubs are cool. Cubs changed my life, making it more difficult inasmuch as career choices, but enriching it beyond belief with experience and clarity. Don't forget the puddlejumpers!

My bestest pal : ) Some day she'll be mine . . . I'm not entirely sure how, but I'll make it happen. My first post-college purchase will not be a car, a tv, a house . . . it will be this airplane, yes THIS one, because she means that much to me. I will live off of Ramen noodles and Easy Mac, driving my faithful old Saab, living in a cheap cramped apartment if that's what it takes.

Heading off to dream of warm times with my #1 girl, 21Y,



  1. hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

  2. Hey I am looking to get in touch with the owner of this blog.

    My name is James Sullivan, and we seem to have a LOT in common. I am a 17 year old private pilot at the time of writing (I turn 18 tomorrow) who will be attending ERAU in Daytona this fall. I think getting youth involved in aviation is very important as well, and perhaps we can work together at this common goal. I am also the owner of you can read about the site and its founders here -

    also feel free to drop me an email through the contact form so we can talk further!


  3. hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!

  4. Hi... Looking ways to market your blog? try this:

  5. Sharing your experience here is great to know but I am looking history of aircrafts and place to buy and sale aircrafts like Jet plane, experimental aircraft, war planes, Cessna planes and such nice sharing history of flying planes.

  6. Amy
    I invite you to join us at the cub board. Great group of people that love talking about cubs.

  7. I love flying my wife's yellow 1937 Piper J-3 Cub - it is a freeing experience when the weather is warm, the sky is clear and the wind is calm.

    She is still studying her Jeppesen Private Pilot Manual and should get her license soon.