Tomorrow afternoon I get to go flying in a Cessna Skyhawk after over a year out of the cockpit. There has been negative press lately about general aviation pilots following the tragic accident of Cory Lidle in New York City. Accidents are unfortunate and they serve as a stark reminder that all life is impermanent and to be cherished. There is another side to general aviation and that is the fun of flying. I’m looking forward to pre-flighting the aircraft and climbing into the cockpit with my instructor for my first flight in over one year. I had a health setback a year ago that kept me out of the left seat until now. Tomorrow I’ll be riding with my instructor and we’ll begin a process called a biennial flight review or BFR. It’s the FAA’s way of making sure that private pilots like me stay up to speed with their skills. It’ll be fun to feel the slipstream of air from the whirling prop as it makes it way around the fuselage and over the control surfaces as we make our way down the runway and lift slowly into the air.
I love the feel of takeoff as the “bump,bump” of the wheels on the runway give way to that pull of the lift generated by the wings that pulls the aircraft toward the sky. The bump of ground wind and the “crab” into the wind and the climb out over the foothills of the Allegany Mountains that surround my home. Tomorrow I get to join my fellow aviators and enjoy again that special vista that birds and aviators enjoy. Before I leave the ground and just after I turn onto the runway I always take a moment to ask for God’s blessing. Please pray for a safe flight. I am grateful I get to go flying. Peace be with you all.