So… that was awesome.
I attempted to make a video of the experience but I couldn’t get the suction cup to stick to the window, so I gave up and decided to just live in the moment.
My flight instructor was in control during takeoff, but once we reached our cruising altitude (2,500 feet) I was in control. We were in the air about 35 minutes as I flew over my house, southeast towards Canandaigua Lake, then north up to the Erie Canal, turning west over Fairport, over my parent’s house (where I grew up), towards downtown Rochester, and then back southwest to the airport; he took over again for landing.
I’ve wanted to fly planes ever since I was a kid. I was only 6 years old when Top Gun and Iron Eagle were released. Sure, they’re both super campy with ridiculous cold war era plotlines but none of that mattered to a little kid; I just loved seeing those awesome jets flying around and blowing each other out of the sky. My best childhood friend moved away before the start of 6th grade. I never truly recovered, from a social perspective, and to this day I’m sure a big part of my social anxiety and introversion can be traced back to that event.
It was around that time when the first Gulf War started (just as I was entering middle school) and I was awed by the scenes unfolding on TV every night. I spent hundreds of hours through middle school and into high school building model airplanes. The smell of Testors model cement and paint will always conjure up great memories of time spent in the basement carefully airbrushing wings and missiles and gluing them together. When finished, they’d get strung up with fishing line and hung from my bedroom ceiling. The walls were emblazoned with posters of jets. I devoured aviation magazines and could rattle off facts and specs for dozens of famous military airplanes, both old and new. You could say I was a bit obsessed, and it was largely driven by the fact that I didn’t really have much of a social life. Rather than hanging out with other kids, I was building models and memorizing wingspans and airspeeds and learning the principals of flight.
As high school began, I very seriously envisioned myself enlisting in the Air Force upon graduation and pursing a career in military aviation; I I was frequently talking to recruiters in school (I don’t think local districts even allow recruiters to come into the buildings these days). Then during my junior year I got glasses and the recruiters basically gave me the bird and told me to get lost - anything less than perfect vision was unacceptable. That sucked, but in hindsight it was probably for the best. My obsession and dedication to aviation diminished as my talent and love for music grew, and now, rather than dropping bombs on foreign countries, I get to spend my time making music and posting poop jokes on the internet.. not a bad trade off, I guess.
Hey. I’m going to fly this in a few minutes.
How’s your Wednesday going?