The Sky’s the Limit!

There is something about airports that excites me. It’s the smell of coffee and diesel fuel at 6:30 in the morning when you are about to board that flight to your yet undiscovered and exotic destination. It’s something that makes my heart race just thinking about it. I always thought that planes and piloting was something off limits. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized that’s not the case at all.

Since I was a kid, I have always been fascinated by aviation. I was the one who not only had every Hot Wheel known to man, but also an extensive collection of toy airplanes. I could identify all the planes and probably teach you a thing or two about the plane history. In elementary school and middle school I started thinking about joining the military. The thought of playing army in real life, flying helicopters and jets seemed like a cool idea to me (so naïve). I started informing myself of the different types of military aircraft (e.g. the Cobra Helicopter, the SR-71, U-2, F-117 Nighthawk and of course the B-2 Stealth Bomber). I was obsessed with these works of modern technology! In my mind there was no doubt that I was going to become a pilot of some sort.

I still remember the first flight I ever had. My parents were working together at a radio station in Southern Indiana. The station manager had his pilot’s license and had offered to take me up in his plane for a quick tour. The thing I remember the most is looking out the window as we were taxiing down the runway and then, as we lifted off into the air, the exhilarating feeling that you only get when you are in an airplane. A short time thereafter my parents surprised me with a trip to Disney World. Like most kids who find out they are going to Disney World, I couldn’t sleep the night before we left. For me, though, it wasn’t the thought of Disney World that was keeping me up, it was the thought of being on a big plane and FLYING to Florida! I vividly remember everything about that ATA flight from Indianapolis to Florida including the 1+ hour delay we had due to a tray that wouldn’t stay latched to a seat that no one was occupying…(no wonder ATA went out of business).

As I approach the end of my time at the university, I am still looking for that job that isn’t work, but fun. I have spent the last several months thinking about becoming a pilot. All of the signs seem to point in that direction and when I think back on how much aviation has meant to me over the years, it just makes sense. I have been watching hours upon hours of flight instruction videos, first flights of student pilots and general aviation stuff on YouTube. I have also been researching the job market for commercial airline pilots in the States. You need be no expert to know that the market for pilots is AWFUL! Somehow, I still feel that this is where I need to look. I love languages. I love travelling and those of you who know me, know that I LOVE to talk! So what better job than being the captain of a major international flight? I realize that the chances of doing so are slim, but why should that keep me from trying? A smart woman once told me, “You can be whatever you want and do whatever you want” (thanks Mom 🙂 ) and so far her theory hasn’t been proven wrong.

My goal is to get my Private Pilot’s License by the time I am done with my studies at Notre Dame. If there is one thing that Germany has shown me, it’s that as soon as you are out in the real world and holding down a job, your time for making dreams a reality drops to a minimum. I have been very fortunate to have a loving family that has supported me financially and morally throughout all of my endeavors. At the age of 22 I have already seen more of the world than most of the people I know back in the States. I am a certified scuba diver and a ham radio operator. So why, you may ask, do I feel the need to pursue this license? It’s my last childhood dream that has yet to be fulfilled. And although Mic Jagger once said, “You can’t always get what you want”, I feel that this goal is within reach.
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4 comments on “The Sky’s the Limit!

  1. carla hamilton says:

    Go for it, Ian. You got better moves than Jagger anyway.

  2. flyerdreams says:

    Your mother is a very wise person. Through various deals you can take an introductory flight for about $75.00.

    • Yes she is! Her advice has taken me around the world…literally. I have talked to a flight instructor near my university in Indiana. He says he will take me up for an hour for $100. After comparing prices of a couple of other clubs, it seems pretty reasonable.

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