Why I Love to Fly and You Should Too

One of the things people are catching on to is I’m a private pilot. Flying has been a passion of mine since I was young. More of my life these days is occupied in the skies above. It has become almost my sanctuary of miracles and adventures. It’s why I’ve been writing less.

There have been times of my life where I’ve been very active in flying and then I’ve taken decades off. But I’m back in the air again and now finishing my instrument license.

Flying is one of those things that you should absolutely do if you have ever wanted to have the freedom to travel and have adventures. Most importantly, if you’ve ever had a desire to fly you should absolutely pursue it. Life is a one way journey and at the end of this grand adventure we will all just expire. Why not follow your flying passion and go do it before you go to it.

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Many people don’t learn to fly for a number of reasons. But I’d have to say the big reason is, it can be expensive and they are afraid. For the vast majority of us flying is a luxury expense and not a life requirement.

Commercial aviation is facing an intense shortage of future pilots and it would be awesome to see more local younger people taking up the profession and/or sport.

My first flying lesson was in 1980 and in 1988, after about seven years off, I finally got serious about earning my private pilot license and took lessons almost every day. And that was a brilliant move. The intensity of my training helped me to get my pilot certification in a relatively short amount of time once I jumped back into flying with a vengeance.

I’m now really proud to say after another fifteen or so years off I’ve jumped back in with both feet and I’m powering through for my instrument certification.

And it’s tougher this time around. The instrument written exam was a brain buster, but I passed. It reminded me how things can be tougher to conquer as we get older. But I’m going to go with the excuse the tests used to be easier back in 1988.

The key to earning your wings is to find a great instructor. Steve Merritt is just such a fellow. And he is a local instructor out of Triangle North Executive Airport in Louisburg who has the unique set of patience, attitude and skills for any student pilot. You can find out more about him here.

Awesome instructor Steve Merritt standing beside Rusty. Yes, I need to come up with a better name for my plane.
Awesome instructor Steve Merritt standing beside Rusty. Yes, I need to come up with a better name for my plane.

But the wonderful part of flying is not just the act of mastering the aircraft but to be able to get up and go do amazing things.

From here in Wake Forest it is just a hair less than an hour flight to Myrtle Beach and hopping down there for a wonderful lunch or dinner is a reality. Not long ago, Pam and I, had dinner on the Intercostal Waterway and then flew back home as the sun set. We can get down there, have a great time, and get back before you would have even reached the place by driving.

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From our cute little town here of Wake Forest, so much is within easy reach in an airplane. It takes me 1.5 hours to fly to Washington, DC, about 4 hours to Disney, 1 hour to Myrtle Beach, 1 hour to Williamsburg, 45 minutes to Martinsville to a great airport cafe, 1.25 hours to Charlotte, etc. And yes, it is expensive. But yes, it is rewarding in so many emotional and life ways.

You can see the Williamsburg airport cafe in the video below.

Flying a plane enters you into a club of great people where ever you go. I jump out of my plane in some airport and they toss me the keys to a free car to use and off I go. Or you can just choose to sit around the airport and shoot the bull with amazing and interesting people. Everyone welcomes you and nobody cares about your race, age, or sexual orientation. If you are a pilot, that’s all you need to join the brotherhood.

If you are between the ages of 8 and 17 you can take a free flight through the EAA Young Eagles program. Click here for details.

Triangle North Executive Airport is a wonderful place to fly. There is so much activity there. Between the parachutists, people flying gliders, helicopter instruction, and us airplane pilots, it seems something is almost always in action.

KLHZ – Triangle North Executive Airport

So before it is too late, jump on your desire to fly and come join the rest of us who get to experience the wonders of flight as a private pilot. At times it can almost seem like you are going to church in the cockpit. It can be a darn near religious experience as you watch the sun rise and know you are blessed to be an hour away from the next great adventure of your life.

And what’s next for me? I hope to be flying rescue animals to new homes through Pilots N Paws. If you decide to become a pilot, you’ve got a couple of recent hours under your belt as a private or student pilot, and you’d like to fly with me to save a rescue dog, send me an email at steve@stever60.sg-host.com and let’s go flying.

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