The countdown to next year’s show begins the minute you return home
We had just returned from Oshkosh, Wis., late last night, which is another way of saying that today, I’m going to be nearly useless. There are lots of things to be done, but I don’t have enough energy in order to cope, so screw ’em. That stuff will get done tomorrow.
Sometimes, being in the right place at the right time is a spiritual experience
We were in the pattern and just in the process of turning downwind from crosswind when the tower said, “Eight-papa-bravo, you’re number two to a Liberator that will be crossing over the airport to join downwind in front of you. He’ll be doing a low pass.”
Just because you don’t do it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done
Useless aviation. Now, there’s a term you seldom hear. It popped up in an e-mail that was addressed to me last week. The writer, a longtime pilot himself, was explaining that because I’ve chronicled various battles with off-airport individuals, he thought it was important that I understand that as you get older and can no longer fly, you lose patience with those involved in “useless” aviation—those who make noise and aren’t accomplishing anything.
I’m about to lose a long-time friend and, in its own inane way, it’s kind of sad: My old denim flying jacket has gone past TBO, and I don’t think it can be saved. It’s been with me for over 2,000 hours, and it’s not going to feel right flying in anything else.
If you’re dreaming of learning to fly someday, stop stalling and start now
I get lots of e-mails asking me odd questions, and there is one I get at least once a month in one form or another. This time, it said: “I’m thinking about learning to fly. Should I wait until my daughter graduates from college?” This is a question without an answer. Well, that’s not exactly true because there are a dozen ways to answer it, but obviously, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer.
Being a hangar potato is actually hard work! No, really!
Until recently, I was convinced that the only exercise I get is pushing a computer mouse around between trips to the refrigerator (it’s a rule that periods of procrastination can only be interrupted for fridge trips). Last week, however, while defending myself in a conversation with a student who insisted golf was good exercise, I arrived at a startling realization—I actually do exercise, but it’s disguised as flying.
I’m not on the outside, looking in. I’m just on the outside.
Lyn “I’m the boss?” Freeman, Plane & Pilot’s leader (a scary thought, at best) challenged me to put my flight-instructing skills to the test by checking him out in my airplane for an article. I figured, sure. It ought to be fun. I mean, it’s just a little article, right? And we’ll have a good time flying. But, the flying aspect turned out to be nothing compared to the talking part and the aftermath when the article came out.
The tiny voice in our head sometimes isn’t in our head
At first, I wasn’t certain I had heard it. It was a faraway voice, not quite a whisper, and my headset killed the engine noise just enough that I could tell it was there. Had I imagined it? Was I actually hearing it, or was my own mind talking to me and making it sound as if it was coming through my headset?
Officially, the EAA AirVenture was over. Only a few hours earlier, a voice had boomed over the PA system, saying thanks and come again next year. That was the signal that it was time to return to the real world and normalcy. However, those of us milling around the boarding lounge at Appleton Airport, waiting for our commuter flight, were mentally and emotionally still walking the grounds at Oshkosh. We weren’t ready for normalcy yet.