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Why I Fly - Don G.

Don is a passionate student pilot working towards his private pilots license. Read about how aviation is positively affecting his life and why he decided to learn to fly.

Most of us probably remember being kids, running around with our arms spread out, pretending to be an airplane. Or maybe you dreamt of joining the military and flying a fighter jet, whipping through canyons. I remember being around 12 years old when I found out you could get your pilot's license at 16. It became a small thing at the back of my head then, thinking about going for it one day. Over the many years since then, I’ve thought of it often and emailed several schools asking about costs and classes. Around this time a year ago, life wasn’t exactly treating me great. I was dealing with a lot of military related stress, and if you’ll pardon the parlance, my life just felt stalled. I decided it was time to make dramatic, extreme, chaotic changes to my life if I was ever going to feel happy. Among the many changes I made, I went to a flight school I happen to deliver mail to, CHI. I asked if they did gift cards and they did. I bought myself a $200 gift card and held onto it.

It took 5 months, but finally one day, I called to schedule my first lesson. As I’ve progressed in the last 7 months over 12 lessons and as I go into the future, there have been and will be many memorable moments. I doubt few will ever match that first lesson. Taking the controls myself, we only did straight and level flight and turns, but the feeling was still exhilarating. I was hooked immediately. My mate was waiting for me on the ground and couldn’t wait for me to tell her all about the experience. I had a massive smile on my face and a feeling of elation that didn’t subside for days. Flying an airplane gives me a feeling of freedom I’ve experienced in nothing else I’ve done. During the time I’m in the air, nothing else in the world matters. There’s no cell phone, no social media, no politics. It’s me and the controls at my hands and whatever views I can take in. It’s reaching heights that extend over Mount Washington where people can’t hike to. It’s getting from Portsmouth to Laconia in 20 minutes. It’s knowing that at the end of your journey to a private pilot's license, you’ll have done something that only .04% of Americans do each year.

One of the questions I get most often is, “do you like flying?”. And I tell everyone I hate flying. Commercially, that is. I’m scared to death of it. But when it’s my plane, and I’m in control, the feeling of rotating off the ground, the sense of accomplishment when you grease a landing, the beauty of a bird flying off your own wing, seeing the same bird later put itself into a stall in order to land and knowing what that is, becoming an amatuer meterologist, so many things have come from flying in the short time I’ve been doing it. And every time the wheels touch down, I can’t wait for the next time I can add flaps, apply full throttle and rotate out again. And that’s #whyIfly.

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