Tom’s Birthday Flight

The first career I can remember thinking would be pretty cool to have as a kid was that of a pilot. I was obsessed with flying when I was little, no doubt assisted by the many forms of media that explored that fantasy– Dragonball Z and Animorphs being the most influential that I can remember.

Something about it just struck a chord with me and I think it was the freedom. The idea of being able to just take off and go literally wherever you wanted was very appealing to me, so the idea of being a pilot was the closest I could get to that thought of just hovering off the ground and going wherever I pleased.

Of course actually being a pilot as a career is very different, and I would’ve never imagined the automation that has been created and deployed to commercial aircraft in the last twenty years. My idea of just hopping in a plane and taking off exists for only brief moments in most commercial passenger planes since the plane does most of the flying much more efficiently and more safely than a human ever could. Add to that the various political and military restrictions around the world and flying wasn’t quite as I imagined it.

Still, when Sara brought me on a trip out to an airfield to fly a plane for the first time it rekindled that feeling of freedom. Sure, I couldn’t go wherever I wanted in the world, but it was close enough for me. At first I had thought we were just going up and I would get to experience what it was like to fly in a small three seater, but I actually got to take over the controls at one point which is something I’ll never forget.

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