Sunday, January 24, 2010

Private Pilot - The Joy of Flying

There is nothing like the feeling of sliding into a Cessna 172 or Piper Cherokee 180 and heading off into the sky. The sense of freedom is enormous, and whatever worries or problems you may be facing, just fade away. It is an incredible feeling!

Nearing my 22nd year of professional truck driving, nothing can clear my mind or ease my spirit as much as flying. The sound of the engine, lowering the flaps, full rich mixture and power and the aircraft shooting down the runway and then . . . lift off! Now this is cool. This is more than cool . . . it is totally awesome!

After CDL training, the stress of trucking can wear you down sooner or later. Trucking will take over your life until you have no life . . . if you let it. After a hard three or four-week run, all a driver wants to do when they make it home, is rest. In a few days they will have to head out, and start it all over again. It is imperative that someone who lives the life of a trucker, has hobbies that they can enjoy when they are home. It is very important to be able to do those things for relaxation to mend the mind and body, before having to jump in the truck again.

Many will enjoy a movie out with their families . . . a fishing trip . . . time out on the boat . . . a motorcycle ride . . . whatever it is, a driver should set aside that time at home for rest and enjoyment. Life is too short to spend it always in a truck. Most trucking companies don’t understand this. The only thing that exists in life is the freight. Forget about the freight for a while . . . and enjoy life when you can before it’s gone.

I look forward to riding my Harley every chance I get. What a rush! But, flying . . . now there is freedom and peace. Have you ever thought about becoming a pilot? It’s not hard at all, and is not too expensive . . . and the joy it brings is immeasurable. Only if it is two or three hours a week or several hours a month . . . the rewards are great.

At 3500 feet or 8500 feet, all the stress and worries of daily life seem to disappear. It makes you realize that we are very small creatures inhabiting this planet! It brings your perspective of things back to a normal realization. If you are one who’s entire life is bound by trucking, like so many drivers are, (I know, I’ve been there), and you are considering a “hobby” of some sort, consider attaining your Private Pilot Certificate. Discover the joy of general aviation. You won’t regret it.

I am planning my first flight to Freeport in the Bahamas and will be flying a Piper Cherokee 180. I received my Private Pilot License in March 1985 and still have the same enthusiasm today as I had on my first flight. I have about 15 hours to go in attaining my commercial/instrument rating . . . always learning and always discovering new things. Although it is only about 246.5 nautical miles and will take roughly two hours and forty minutes to make it to Freeport, with approximately thirty-eight minutes of “ocean” flying . . . it’s going to be the best two hours and forty minutes of my life!

Don’t let trucking control your life. Whatever it takes . . . whatever hobby you choose . . . make it work for you. If you’ve never thought about flying, consider it now. Trust me . . . you’ll be glad you did.

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